When club rivalries become too heated, it is all too easy for compatriots to forget shared roots. However, when the scuffles on the pitch are extended, it is truly a point of worry.
Something of the sort appeared to have transpired between English players Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.
The duo got into a heated clash when Manchester City and Liverpool were involved in a crucial weekend fixture that saw the Merseyside club emerge victorious in a 3-1 result.
However, the brawl has continued forward.
As per the Times, when the duo met again during training for England’s upcoming qualifiers for the Euro 2020, tensions flared once more.
The two got into a clash yet again, with Sterling apparently continuing the confrontation that seemed resolved at the fulltime whistle at Anfield.
Their teammates reportedly didn’t take the fight to be a serious one, with the report stating that many of them thought Sterling was joking before getting in and separating the two.
Further, the squad is believed to be shocked at the whole incident with Gomez particularly perturbed at how the Manchester City forward got physical. The Liverpool centre-back is reported to have not retaliated to the physicality of Sterling’s approach and has since been seen with a scratch beneath his right eye.
The same source went on to add that Sterling was ousted from the squad at that very instant and was on his way home. However, coach Gareth Southgate is said to have called him back to the training ground at St. George’s Park following a meeting with his senior players.
As things stand, Sterling remains axed from England’s first clash of the international break versus Montenegro on Friday.
This isn’t the first time this has occurred with Ashley Young and Delle Alli famously clashing in the past. However, that specific conflict didn’t trickle down into the national team.
What will this mean for the dynamics of the Three Lions ahead of the qualifiers?