GARETH SOUTHGATE expressed frustration that Yunus Musah will be representing the USA tonight.
The Valencia midfielder, who played for England in four youth groups and was U18 captain, switched allegiances in March 2021.
Southgate tried to persuade Musah to sign, but the 19-year-old, who speaks with a Cockney accent, has now played 20 times for the States.
Asked about tonight’s opponents, the Three Lions manager said: “Firstly, they are very proactive with recruitment.
“They took one from us, which we weren’t very happy about, but fair game.
“Yunus was in our U19 and then we went into lockdown.
“He was a player I hadn’t had much contact with at the time and the decision was made before I had a chance to get to know him well.”
Musah, once referred to as “American Paul Pogba” by Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper, explained his decision: “I’ve enjoyed my time with England, the coaches and the players, it’s been amazing.
“But there came a time when I was playing in the first team at Valencia and the US coaches talked to me a lot about their projects and I felt like I was going to play a role in that.
“We have a great team in the US and the project could be something big.”
Most read at the 2022 World Cup
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON THE WORLD CUP
Before joining Valencia in 2019, Musah played for Arsenal at academy level for seven years alongside the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.
Speaking of his Gunners experience, he said: “When I saw people like Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud, I wanted to be like them.
“I aspired to be the next step at Arsenal because I was among them.
“I played with Saka and Emile and they are great players.
“I’m so happy they’re playing in Arsenal’s first-team now, but my decision to leave was because I felt Valencia had a great plan for me.
“They put so much trust in me as you can see and with everything they offered it sounded like a great plan.”
Saka will start again for the Three Lions tonight, with Southgate expected to nominate an unchanged starting XI who beat Iran 6-2 in the group’s opener.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6763292/gareth-southgate-usa-england-yunus-musah/ ‘We are NOT happy about it’ – Gareth Southgate expresses frustration with US for ‘taking’ Yunus Musah from England