Rashford faces competition from Man Utd teammate as EURO 2024 approaches

The 26-year-old is not performing up to the mark in the ongoing season

By Web Desk
February 09, 2024
Manchester United players celebrate after scoring a goal. — AFP

Manchester United star attacker Marcus Rashford is facing strong competition from his teammate Kobbie Mainoo as England’s head coach Gareth Southgate has started to shape plans for EURO 2024.

Rashford has been in the spotlight in recent weeks for his off-field behaviour, having called in sick for Manchester United training the day after a late night out in a nightclub in Belfast.

The 26-year-old experienced a period of decent form before and after that disciplinary incident, but he still faces a challenge to secure a spot in the 23-man squad for this summer's EURO 2024, with fierce competition on the left wing.

There is only one international break remaining before the shortlist must be finalised, and Southgate is closely monitoring all his players.

“We’re five weeks away from picking a squad, although so much happens to players over the period between November and March that we’re always sitting and observing everything on and off the pitch,” Southgate told The Telegraph.

“Then in a few weeks’ time we’ll have decisions to make on the whole squad and there’s going to be a lot of attention on that because it’s the final squad before the Euros.”

Southgate will need to automatically drop three players from his previous two squads, as UEFA has confirmed a maximum of 23 players for the upcoming tournaments, compared to 26 at the 2022 World Cup and EURO 2020.

Despite this, there have been recent calls for a new addition who is currently making waves at United.

Mainoo only made his Premier League debut against Everton in November but has already become a key player under Erik ten Hag's management. The 18-year-old has scored his first two senior goals since the start of the year and delivered an excellent performance again during last weekend's victory against West Ham.

“I think he’s doing brilliantly for a young player,” Southgate added of Mainoo. “He’s had an excellent start for United. I’m not certain he’s necessarily going to be a defensive midfielder, as such. He’s quite a progressive player, but he’s had a fabulous start to his career and it will be good to monitor him as we go forward.”

Mainoo is currently being targeted to switch allegiance and join the Ghanaian national team, with both of his parents coming from the West African nation. He has represented England from under-17 to under-19 level and is hoped to keep building through those ranks and into the first team.