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England manager Gareth Southgate has made it clear that Manchester United players have a lot to prove if they expect to make England’s Qatar 2022 squad.
Both Sancho and Rashford missed the end of last season, and with just three more England matches left before the World Cup kicks off in November, time is running out. Two of those three matches will take place in September, where Gareth Southgate will have one last chance to survey his potential squad ahead of the first-ever Winter World Cup.
When quizzed on whether United’s inability to qualify for the Champions League last season could benefit the English contingent in the squad, Southgate commented:
“They've got a lot to do to get back in the squad. We’ve only got one [Harry Maguire] with us! Well, look, I think the lower the load then of course the less likely for injuries and the hope that players can be that little bit sharper but there’s no way of knowing.
“Some players are at their best when they're in a rhythm of playing and you talk to some of our lads now and they want to play every game because that's how they feel they get to their best level. Others need the breaks, they need longer recovery between the matches to be at their best.”
Despite Gareth Southgate’s strong words, Marcus Rashford is seemingly determined to rise to the challenge ahead of him. The forward is reportedly planning to 'reset and refresh under Erik ten Hag,’ according to sources who spoke with the Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel.
Like his Manchester United teammates who missed the end of the season through injury or illness, Luke Shaw who was a hero of the England squad during Euro 2020 last summer also missed out on this run of England fixtures. With his last appearance seeing him forced off against Leicester back in April, Shaw has remained on the sidelines since that match, undergoing surgery since then.
Despite his high acclaim last year, Shaw is coming off the back of a poor season. Additionally, with those in the current squad who have played left back (James Justin, Kieran Trippier) able to play as both right and left backs, it remains unclear whether Shaw will find his way back into the squad.
England are due to kick off their World Cup campaign against Group B rivals Iran at 13:00 on the 27th November.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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