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Should Marcus Rashford have received an England call-up for EURO 2024?

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Image via: Oleg Bkhambri/Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0. Image has been edited.

Marcus Rashford was not called up for England international duty this summer, but was it the right decision?

Manchester United Football Club have struggled this season. For the supporters, it has been a brutal watch at times. Erik ten Hag’s football has been largely uninspiring, while I know injuries haven’t helped his case, the Dutchman still hasn’t covered himself in glory.

Perhaps the one player who epitomises that more than anyone is Marcus Rashford. The Englishman has slumped around the field at times, looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world, without really carrying any threat.

Well, those actions have since had major consequences. Gareth Southgate has taken the bold decision to omit Rashford from his provisional England squad for the European Championships. But is it the right call?

As a forward, where better to start than goals and assists? During Ten Hag’s debut season, Rashford had a hugely impressive 40+ goals and assists combined, culminating in his best season as a professional footballer. This term has been in stark contrast. Eight goals, five assists isn’t anywhere near enough for a man of Rashford’s quality. It has arguably been his worst year since breaking through into the team.

I touched upon it earlier, but it’s the attitude that leaves me most concerned. Rashford meandered around the pitch when it wasn’t going his way. At the highest level, you simply cannot have a passenger like that.

Whether it’s a disagreement in vision with the manager, or the fact he may be carrying a minor injury or two, it falls on Rashford to right the wrongs – fairly or unfairly, it always comes back to the player. It’s telling that the Old Trafford faithful have started to turn on a homegrown hero from Manchester. Something isn’t right and it does make you wonder whether a clean break would be best for all involved.

What Rashford can always fall back on is his ‘x-factor’ and unpredictability. He can be having the worst game in the world and come up with a wonder strike that wins a game for his side. Unlike United, England have plenty of players that can do just that. In this instance, it has been his downfall.

At the end of the day, it was a tough call for Southgate that genuinely could have gone either way. What’s most disheartening and damning is the fact that Rashford didn’t even make the provisional squad, nevermind the final 26-man travelling party. You also cannot really disagree with the decision. United fans have watched Rashford week-in-week-out all season long and he hasn’t been anywhere near good enough.

I guess the saving grace for United is the fact that Rashford now gets a summer off to rest up, recuperate and recharge the batteries. I’m sure he’s fuming this evening, though he only has himself to blame. The best thing about football? There’s always a chance to put it right, starting with the FA Cup final this weekend.

Do you think Marcus Rashford should have been called up? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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