Gareth Southgate is set to announce his England squad on Thursday at 2pm and it is yet unclear which members of the Manchester United squad will make the cut. The team’s fluctuating form has made it hard to decide who deserves a spot in the squad.
One player who has been ever-present in the England squad is Marcus Rashford, who was even taken to the European Championship with an injury on the proviso that even if he could only play only a handful of minutes it would likely be worth it for the team’s chances. However, nearly ten months on the narrative has changed.
Since returning from injury, Rashford has seemed a shadow of his former self and unable to recapture the form that saw him score 21 goals and provide 15 assists in 57 appearances during the 2020/21 season. The fact he was severely overplayed by United during this spell is probably a contributing factor to his current struggles.
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Jadon Sancho has usurped his favoured left-wing position and is probably the only player that United fans believe 100% deserves to be selected by Southgate this time around. And now deployed on the right, Rashford has struggled to adapt, with his decision-making being a constant criticism.
Rashford’s apparent frustration in his own form came to a head after the defeat to Atletico Madrid which saw United crash out of the Champions League. Fans began to jeer him as he walked to the coach which caused the English winger to become frustrated and react negatively, in his own words asking the fan to ‘come and say that to [his] face’.
Rashford has since released a statement clarifying what happened after speculation on social media, but with everything that is happening, it may be best that he is not selected for the England squad. It will give him a much-needed break from competitive football and time to get his head straight again.
With the World Cup at the end of 2022, it is understandable why players will want to be part of the squad as they may feel their position in that final all-important squad is under threat. With the fixtures only being friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, however, it is safe to assume that Rashford getting his club form back on track is more important to himself and his chances of getting to Qatar.
Most fans are sure there is still a talented player in Rashford, but with a new manager coming in the summer and his form consistently declining, there is a worry that he will fall by the wayside in place of others like Sancho and Anthony Elanga. It would be a sad end for a player that has put his body on the line for the club and was once considered the shining beacon of United’s academy.
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