Euro 2024: Why Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford may be left out

Marcus Rashford on England duty against Brazil (Imago/Pro Sports Images)


Marcus Rashford was barely involved for England during March's international break, casting doubts about his Euro 2024 participation (Imago/Pro Sports Images).jpg

Euro 2024: Why Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford may be left out

Seye Omidiora 05:56 - 28.03.2024

Ex-England international Alan Shearer does not know which role best suits the forward in Gareth Southgate’s set-up.

Former England international Alan Shearer has cast doubts on Marcus Rashford making Gareth Southgate’s European Championship squad this summer.

Euro 2024 squad size

The Manchester United forward was peripheral in the Three Lions' latest international games, featuring for the final 15 minutes (excluding additional time) after replacing Anthony Gordon against Brazil last Saturday.

Managers are expected to name their 23-player squads shortly after the culmination of the 2023-24 season. But Southgate revealed this week that Euro 2024 squads could comprise 26 players, with that call to be made at next month’s UEFA coaches meeting, where support is expected for an increase to avoid overburdening players and reducing the risk of injuries.

Marcus Rashford
Rashford featured for 15 minutes against Brazil and was an unused substitute against Belgium (Imago/Pro Sports Images)

What Shearer said about Rashford’s Euro 2024 participation

Regardless, the Premier League record goal-scorer made his Rashford remarks in a Q&A session on the Athletic, questioning the Manchester United forward’s role with the national team.

“If Rashford plays well between now and the end of the season, then that could potentially force the manager’s hand. But I don’t think he’s a certainty to go, no,” replied Shearer to a question from an Athletic reader. “He’s not a centre-forward, he doesn’t want to play there.

“He’d be going as a wide forward who can play as a striker in an emergency. You can tell from his body language that he doesn’t want to play there for Manchester United. If he’s going to be in the squad, it wouldn’t be ahead of Harry Kane, Watkins or Toney, it’d be as a wide forward.

Alan Shearer thinks Rashford could struggle to get into Southgate's Euro 2024 side
Alan Shearer thinks Rashford could struggle to get into Southgate's Euro 2024 side (Imago/PA Images)

“The problem the wingers have is there are so many of them. Grealish, Jarrod Bowen, Rashford, Gordon and Bukayo Saka, to name just a few, and so at least a couple of good players could miss out. Grealish and Rashford are definitely under pressure for their positions.

“It’s tough but, whoever Gareth picks, he can just point at all the options, whereas defensively he doesn’t have anywhere near as much depth.”

What comes next for Rashford?

Rashford has been fiercely criticised for this season's drop-off in performance, having broadly flourished last season, scoring 30 times in 56 appearances in all competitions in Erik ten Hag's first year at Old Trafford.

The 26-year-old has scored eight times in 35 matches this term, thus leading to questions about his consistency. Observers have also slated the forward’s seeming dereliction of duties without possession.

Rashford should return to Ten Hag’s line-up for this weekend's visit to Brentford before the Red Devils' pivotal week in which they travel to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and host Liverpool in a rematch of this month's exciting FA Cup tie.