Scott Sinclair 'currently below England level', says Gareth Southgate
Last Updated: 30/09/17 11:49pm
Gareth Southgate says Scott Sinclair is below the level required to earn a place in the England current squad.
The Celtic striker was not among the 26 players named this week by Southgate, ahead of the forthcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania in early October.
The 28-year-old has made an impressive start to the season, claiming his 10th goal in Celtic's 3-0 Champions League victory over Anderlecht on Tuesday.
In all, Sinclair has netted 35 goals in 65 games for the Scottish champions since moving from Aston Villa last year but Southgate believes he has better options.
The England boss said of Sinclair: "I had a conversation with (his manager) Brendan Rodgers about him at the end of last season.
"He's a good player but we have good quality in that area of the pitch and, at the moment, I think he is just below the level of what we have already got."
England are currently top of Group F, and within touching distance of reaching the World Cup in Russia next summer.
They face Slovenia at home on Thursday, October 5, before travelling to Lithuania three days later.
And Southgate has eased fears of player burnout ahead of the 2018 tournament.
Former England managers Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson both blamed fatigue for previous failures by the national team but Southgate is not overly concerned.
He added: "I played in tournaments, I played seasons that involved 45 or 50 games.
"I'm not a huge believer in burnout. I think there's mental fatigue, but physically it's about getting the right level of training, the appropriate stimulus to make sure people are ready.
"We should have enough expertise to get that to the best possible level. That requires all the players to be looking after themselves right. Somebody like Harry Kane will do that.
"He'll do whatever it takes to give himself the best chance, he's meticulous about his diet, meticulous about the way he recovers from games.
"The other night they were able to take Harry off with 20 minutes to go. Those latter stages of games are the ones that have a real physical impact.
"There needs to be some mental switch off at the end of the season but the danger there is, is that you tail off too much and then can't get back."