Arsenal star Eddie Nketiah earned himself a first senior International call-up last week, but did not even make the bench for England’s 1-1 draw with Ukraine.

Nketiah has had an excellent start to the season, scoring twice in three starts and making an impact in every game, and earned a senior callup for England, after becoming the all-time goalscorer at under-21 level.

He was alongside Gareth Southgate for a press conference following his callup, and it seemed that he would be given an opportunity to shine in this International break.

However, Southgate elected to name two goalkeepers on the bench, with Nketiah nowhere to be seen, for England’s qualifying round clash with Ukraine, which was played in Poland.

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Fellow Arsenal stars Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka started, with Aaron Ramsdale on the bench, and Nketiah may be frustrated that he was not given the chance to join the squad.

England have a friendly match away at Scotland on Tuesday to round off the International break, and he will now be desperate for a place in the squad that goes to Glasgow.

A surprise omission

Everything pointed towards the 24-year-old making his England debut this week, but Southgate’s stubbornness over his squad has meant that Nketiah suffered the heartbreak of not even making the bench, and he has to now be included on Tuesday.

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If he is left out again, many, including Nketiah himself, will wonder what more he has to do to gain an opportunity, and why he wasted his time on the International break to not even be given a chance.

Southgate has done similar with the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Ivan Toney, where they earned call-ups but failed to feature at all, and if Nketiah suffers the same fate, he will have every right to be frustrated.

With Gabriel Jesus returning from injury, Nketiah faces a battle to keep his place in the Arsenal starting lineup, and given the form he is in, the game against Scotland will now be the perfect opportunity to build more consistency following his excellent start to the campaign.

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