England manager Gareth Southgate said Jadon Sancho would probably not be in his squad based on form alone but thinks it is important to show belief in the young Manchester United winger to help him reach a higher level.
Sancho, 21, was a massive success at Borussia Dortmund but has struggled for game time at United following his 73 million pounds ($98.22 million) transfer in the summer, and has drawn criticism for some of his performances.
However, Southgate has kept faith with Sancho after naming him in his squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary.
READ: Pellegrini returns to Italy squad for Nations League finals
“Does he deserve to be in on these performances over the last few weeks? Probably not,” Southgate told reporters. “But we feel we’ve invested in Jadon over a period of time, we believe he can get to a high level.
“I’d like some time to chat with him and help that process that’s going on at United as well and I think for him to feel that we have belief in him at this point is a good message.”
Sancho played a limited role in England’s run to the European Championship final in the summer and missed World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and Poland with an injury.
He has started only two of his five Premier League games for United and featured three times in Cup competitions.
“Sometimes the right message is to leave a player out and maybe they respond and that’s the right thing but we feel with Jadon at this time it’s important for us to keep him with us,” said Southgate.