GARETH SOUTHGATE has defended his decision to name Jesse Lingard in his England squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
The Three Lions boss was slated for picking the Manchester United star – who has not scored or made an assist in 2019.
Southgate has warned that no one is safe after he axed Manchester City defender Kyle Walker from his squad.
But the manager kept Lingard in his squad for the double-header against Bulgaria and Kosovo despite his shocking spell of form.
He started United's first three games of the season, but was hauled off against Crystal Palace and dropped to the bench for the 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Explaining his reasons behind picking Lingard, Southgate said: "I think you'd have to say I've seen him have better spells for United.
"I think Ole has a young, energetic team, and I think Jesse's pressing and the energy he brings to that has been an important part of what they've tried to do in the first few games.
"The inclusion of Jesse for us is partly because his form for us has always been good.
"I know there was stats on his goals. He was only involved in four games for us last season because of injury – two starts and two off the bench.
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