Dunk withdraws from England squad

Injury prevents defender from taking part in upcoming international matches.

By Paul Camillin • 11 June 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Lewis Dunk made 36 Premier League appearances during the 2022/23 season.

Lewis Dunk has been forced to pull out of England’s summer games, due to a niggling injury issue which curtailed his season. 

Lewis was named in Gareth Southgate’s 25-man party for the qualifiers in Malta and against North Macedonia at Old Trafford. 

In a cruel twist, the Albion skipper is struggling for match fitness and has reluctantly withdrawn from the squad. 

He said, “I was proud to be recalled to the England squad. My first England cap remains one of the proudest moments of my career. I never gave up hope, and I hope that opportunity will come again. 

“I’m sorry it won’t be this summer but at the end of the season, a few of us had to step up to achieve our aim of European football.

“A few of us were playing on adrenaline, pushing ourselves through games. I had a couple of injury issues, but our aim was to secure that top six place and create history. 

By Paul Hazlewood
The skipper was named on the bench for the last two games of the Premier League season.

“I spoke to Gareth Southgate at the end of the season, after we’d achieved that. I explained that I thought I might not be fit in time for the games against Malta and North Macedonia. I didn’t want to mess him around for two important qualifiers for the country. 

“He was excellent with me, told me to take as long as possible and give myself the best chance to be part of the squad. I’d like to thank him for that support, and wish the squad well for the two games.”

England face Malta at the Ta' Qali National Stadium in Valetta on 16 June, kick-off 7.45pm, before returning home to take on North Macedonia at Old Trafford on 19 June, kick-off 7.45pm.

It was Lewis’s third call-up for his country having had his first in October 2018, and Roberto De Zerbi said at the time, “He deserves to play in the national team. He has developed, he understands football.

“In the first period it was not so easy to understand my idea but he gave me total availability. He doesn’t speak a lot, but he is an example outside of the dressing room and off the pitch. He has to play always.”

Albion head coach De Zerbi is expected to have his skipper back and available in time for the pre-season.