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Friday, June 14, 2024

Gareth Southgate might have done Man Utd star a favour with Euro 2024 decision – Opinion

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Gareth Southgate has announced his England squad for the Euros with a notable Manchester United exclusion which could actually be a positive.

In total, three Manchester United players were named in the provisional squad for the Euro 2024 tournament by Gareth Southgate.

This saw Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Kobbie Mainoo all named in the squad by the England manager, with Shaw in particular being a shocking inclusion.

However, for one United player, the exclusion will come as a serious shock and a blow ahead of a tournament in which England can be considered favourites to win.

This is Marcus Rashford and for the first time in his career, he’ll miss out on an England tournament. Rashford has even responded to the snub. But there are reasons why this could actually benefit the 26-year-old.

  • READ MORE: Who is Marcus Rashford? Inside the life of Man Utd’s book-writing, government-tackling ace

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United at American Express C...

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Missing the Euros will actually be a good thing for Marcus Rashford

After a season in which Rashford has lost his position to a raw 19-year-old in Alejandro Garnacho, this is the blow which will likely hammer it home for the 60-cap player that he needs to do better.

To have an entire season of poor performances is concerning and therefore by subbing Rashford, Southgate may have done him a favour.

If Rashford uses this snubbing as motivation, it could absolutely be a positive and we’ve seen how he can respond to Southgate’s rejection before.

Last season, Rashford’s best form came following the 2022 World Cup in which he looked like a real world-class player and ended up with 30 goals that season. This was after he was refused the right to play in the quarter-finals.

If Rashford can similarly use this latest blow, he could find himself set to shine brightly in 2024-25. We’d like to hope he’s even keen to prove the England boss wrong this Saturday in the FA Cup final.

  • READ MORE: FA Cup Final 2024: Date, Kick-Off Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, Tickets & More

For Manchester United Rashford’s exclusion is also ideal

With this summer being a junction within Rashford’s career, it’s best that he is returning for preseason on day one and his future can be resolved either way.

If Rashford is to remain at United next season, a summer of rest and a proper preseason could be exactly what he needs, rather than going to the Euros where he’d likely have just sat on the bench anyway.

Whoever is the new manager, or if Erik ten Hag stays will get a good look at Rashford this way as he has the talent, it just needs to be unlocked.

So not going to the Euros could be seen as Southgate doing Rashford a favour, despite the fact he’d obviously have rather gone.

It all just depends on how he uses this disappointment. It could even be career-defining at this stage so it’s pivotal he uses it as motivation.

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