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Anthony Gordon says choosing Scotland over England was ‘never a thought’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Mar 2024

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Newcastle forward Anthony Gordon insists he only ever had eyes for England and that a switch of international allegiance to Scotland was “never a thought”.

The 23-year-old has earned his first senior call-up for the upcoming Wembley friendly double-header against Brazil and Belgium, potentially breaking into Gareth Southgate’s squad just in time for Euro 2024.

Gordon helped England to glory at the 2023 European Under-21 Championship, where he was also named as player of the tournament.

He remains available to both the Republic of Ireland and Scotland through his heritage, with the latter seemingly a possible option to get into the senior international scene and secure a spot at the Euros this summer.

Now, though, that opportunity comes with England and, for the former Everton winger, that was the only outcome he was looking for.

“It was never a thought for me,” he said when asked if he had considered it.

“That’s no disrespect to Scotland, that’s all. I’ve been tunnel-visioned on playing for England since I was five or six years old. Nothing could ever shake that off.

“I could never forgive myself if I hadn’t got to this point. Like I said, it is just a dream I’ve had from so young so nothing else has ever entered my mind at any time.”

Born in Liverpool, Gordon’s passion for one day wanting to wear the Three Lions of England stems from local boys he looked up to as a youngster.

“I think I’ve always just wanted to be at the very top of football,” he said.

“I think that’s every kid’s dream who likes football. I think as a young English kid, that is the pinnacle to play for your country so it is no extra motivation or a great story but just that.

“For me, it was always (Wayne) Rooney and (Steven) Gerrard because they were from similar areas.

“I always used to run around the garden from the youngest age I can remember and try and recreate goals, create my own types of goals. I looked up to them massively.”

Despite both captaining their country, neither Rooney nor Gerrard ever won international silverware – Gordon and the current crop are aiming to do just that and he believes tapping into the recent Under-21 success can only help.

“Most definitely because the standard of the Under-21s is so high,” he said.

“Our team was a really, really good team. A lot of them played Premier League week in, week out at some big clubs.

“Being in those environments, wanting to showcase what you can do, prepares you for this environment and I’m very thankful for all the experiences I had with the youth teams.”

Gordon will be hoping to take the step up to senior football in his stride and admits it was added motivation when Southgate had spoken just how close he had come to picking the Newcastle man in previous squads.

“(It was) very reassuring – I was performing well,” he added.

“I was working hard, the season was going well for me. Just to hear him say that I was in the thoughts and close.

“It gave me just a little boost to carry on knowing I’m not too far away and in the games, made me run just that little bit harder.”

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