Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic has indirectly blamed Steven Gerrard after Glasgow Rangers striker Cedric Itten was not called up for the European Championships this summer.
The Lowdown: Itten not in Switzerland squad
Last week, Petkovic revealed his 29-man preliminary squad for the Euros this summer. Three players will drop out before the tournament kicks off on June 11th.
Surprisingly, Itten was not included even though he has scored three goals in three games for his country (Reuters).
The Latest: Petkovic shares the reason behind the decision
Following the announcement, Petkovic revealed why Itten was not named in the squad. He said (via The Daily Record):
“I already know Cedric Itten, but unfortunately for him, he didn’t play that much for Rangers this season.
“Andi Zeqiri did well for his team and the same goes for Dan Ndoye. I don’t know them well so this is a chance for me to get to work with them.
“I wanted to give new players the chance to experience tournament football.
“I gave Denis Zakari and Nico Elvedi a similar chance before the Euro 2016 tournament and both are now established in my squad. So young players are the future.”
The Verdict: Disappointing
Itten will no doubt be bitterly disappointed to miss out. The European Championships are a special tournament, and no player will be happy not to be included in their respective squads. The fact of the matter, though, is that the £4.05m-valued Gers man (Transfermarkt) has just not played enough games.
Should Itten have been included in the squad?
He did appear in 38 matches in all competitions, but he started just 10 of them (Transfermarkt). Six goals and three assists is not a terrible return, but for whatever reason, Steven Gerrard felt he was not good enough to play a bigger role this season and given the success Rangers had, it’s hard to argue with the manager’s decision.
Switzerland have won two out of two World Cup qualifiers (fifa.com) and will be hoping to make the tournament in Qatar next November – Itten must play a bigger part for Rangers over the next 18 months if he wants to be at that tournament.
In other news, Danny Mills slams Rangers’ treatment of this midfielder.
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