As Mail Sport per Sports Central reported last night, following talks between Sterling and Gareth Southgate it has been decided that the Chelsea star will not feature in the games against Malta and North Macedonia in order to focus on recovering after what has been a turbulent season.
A statement read as cited by Sports Central: ‘Following a private conversation between coach and player, a mutual decision has been made for Raheem Sterling to sit out the upcoming internationals, focusing instead on recuperating his body in preparation for the upcoming season.’
Sterling remains a key figure for Southgate moving forward, while the 28-year-old is fully committed to England.
This is understood to be a mutual decision based the conversation between player and manager.
There is a common feeing that Sterling needs the summer to fully recuperate so he can hit the ground running next season.
Southgate confirmed his conversations with Sterling during his press conference to announce the squad.
He said: 'I spoke with him a week or so ago. A general catch-up. He is not happy with his condition physically, carrying a hamstring problem. He wasn't really in consideration. He doesn't think he is operating at the level he needs.'
Sterling's omission presented an opportunity for Eberechi Eze who was included in Southgate's 26-man squad.
Eze could be set to make his England debut, two years after Southgate originally intended to do so before the 24-year-old suffered a serious Achilles injury.
Having recovered from the injury, it is understood Eze was selected in Southgate’s provisional 55-man squad for last year’s World Cup in Qatar, but didn’t make the final cut.
Following his inclusion, Southgate said: 'We've liked him for a long time. He was very unfortunate just before the Euros. We were going to call him into a prep camp and he got an injury. 'He has finished the season very strongly, he can play in a couple of positions across that front line. He has high quality and bursts of speed to go past players with those dribbling skills.'
Going off recent form, it's no surprise that Eze has been included.
Eze played a huge role in helping Crystal Palace avoid relegation scoring six goals in their last eight Premier League matches.
Sterling meanwhile has netted just twice in the top flight since New Year's Day - thanks to his brace against Nottingham Forest last week.
Southgate's squad for the upcoming two games also saw the inclusion of Lewis Dunk who made his one and only England appearance back in 2018.
Tyrone Mings and Trent Alexander-Arnold have also been recalled after recent excellent form..