Sam Allardyce has stressed the “door will always be open” for Ross Barkley after leaving the Everton midfielder out of his first England squad.
Allardyce made his selections for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Sunday, with Barkley one of the more notable absentees from a squad that included a maiden call-up for West Ham winger Michail Antonio.
But the 22-year-old has been reassured that he should not lose hope of forcing his way back into the national set-up in the near future.
“The door will always be open for Ross but at this moment we felt the squad I’ve picked is the right one,” said Allardyce, who will name his captain on Tuesday.
“This is not just me. Of course I’m there for the final decision but we discussed every element over the past four to six weeks, particularly since the season started.
“We look at all avenues – what sort of pre-season they’ve had, what happened last season, what’s happened at the start of this season, the balance of the squad – and luckily this weekend there was no injuries.”
Another omission was Marcus Rashford – instead joining up with the Under-21 squad – but Allardyce had no regrets over his decision, despite seeing the 18-year-old net a late winner for Manchester United at Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday.
“I think having international experience with the Under-21s will be invaluable for us later down the line, and I think if he plays for Manchester United on a regular basis he would certainly be in my squad,” Allardyce added.
“But because of his inclusion only as a substitute, as good as it was against Hull City, I think that the value of having probably a full game with [U21 coach] Gareth [Southgate] will be invaluable to him and later on for us, a bit like Harry Kane and people like that in the past.
“He made a massive impact last season, yes, but he’s only a young man. Let’s not heap too much pressure on him just yet. “
England face Slovakia in Trnava on Sunday.
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