RAHEEM STERLING has failed to make the cut for England's upcoming Euro qualifiers.
But there's joy for Eberechi Eze, with the Crystal Palace star in line to make his Three Lions debut.
Elsewhere, Lewis Dunk is back in the squad for the first time since 2018 as he seeks to win a second cap.
And there are also recalls for Callum Wilson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Tyrone Mings.
Meanwhile, Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope misses out after undergoing surgery on his hand.
And there's no call-up for Arsenal's Ben White after he quit England's World Cup squad.
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But it's Sterling's exclusion which has caught the eye of England fans.
He has endured a dismal season in London after joining Chelsea from Man City last summer.
The forward, who has 82 caps, was tipped to be left out by Gareth Southgate this afternoon.
And it has now been confirmed he will play no part in the games against Malta and North Macedonia.
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Sterling's spokesperson said: "Following a private conversation between coach and player, a mutual decision has been made for Raheem Sterling to sit out the upcoming internationals, focused instead on recuperating his body in preparation for the upcoming season."
England boss Southgate said: "I spoke with him a week or so ago. A general catch-up. He is not happy physically and has been carrying a hamstring problem.
"He was not in consideration so we did not get to the point whether he should be in or out. He does not think he is operating at the level he needs so that was the conversation."
Sterling's absence has paved the way for Eze to win his first call-up.
The 24-year-old has 10 goals and four assists for Crystal Palace this term.
And his form sparked their resurgence under Roy Hodgson, swiftly sealing their Premier League safety after Patrick Vieira's sacking.
Southgate added: "We have liked him for a long time. He was very unfortunate that before the Euros, we were going to call him into a prep camp and he got an injury the day before.
"I spoke to Roy Hodgson and he said he had just got injured. He has finished the season really strongly and he can play in a couple of positions across the attacking line.
"He is a goal threat, has nice ability and a burst of speed to take people out of the game with his dribbling skills. We are looking forward to seeing him closer and everyone I know talks about him brilliantly as a person."
Meanwhile, Jude Bellingham and Marcus Rashford are deemed fit enough to make the cut.
There's room again for Newcastle striker Wilson following Ivan Toney's eight-month betting ban.
And Brighton captain Dunk has won his spot in the squad at the expense of AC Milan's Champions League semi-finalist Fikayo Tomori.
Southgate declared: "He has shown great composure with the ball and often has to defend in one versus one situations and deserves his call."
Fellow centre-back Mings is also involved again for the first time in 14 months after an upturn in form at Aston Villa.
Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold is another recall, with Chelsea's Reece James injured.
Southgate explained: "He is a super football and is obviously playing in a slightly different role which has reinvigorated him.
"He has always been in more advanced areas and is more central now and it is interesting for us and it is something I have talked with him over the last couple of weeks."
And Palace No2 Sam Johnstone has been picked following Pope's new setback.
However, there are some notable absentees from the squad.
Arsenal defender White was tipped for a reprieve after leaving the World Cup side for "personal reasons."
Nottingham Forest's Morgan Gibbs-White, recently hailed as the "signing of the season" by Jamie Carragher, misses out.
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And there's no room for Levi Colwill, who has shined on loan at Brighton from Chelsea.
Brentford's Rico Henry was also hoping to be selected following Ben Chilwell's injury, as was in-form Villa striker Ollie Watkins.
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