Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick could benefit from Gareth Southgate’s brutal double snub


Ralf Rangnick could benefit from the fact that both Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have been dropped from the England set up by Gareth Southgate earlier this week

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England boss Gareth Southgate explains squad selection

Gareth Southgate has recently announced his England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast, but there was no space for Marcus Rashford or Jadon Sancho – despite the latter’s impressive form.

The Manchester United stars were both part of the England side that made it to the final of the European Championships in the summer, both missing penalties in the shootout defeat to Italy. However, there was no room for either in the most recent squad, while Harry Maguire kept his place.

Rashford is known to hold the England national team close to his heart, so missing out on Southgate’s selection will be a brutal blow for the United star. But the omission of Rashford and Sancho could be the perfect thing to motivate the pair under Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season.

Rashford has been somewhat of an outsider in recent weeks under Rangnick and the winger can’t seem to buy a start, although Sancho’s form has seen a vast improvement since his move in the summer. But neither have had the greatest season for United, and Rashford hasn’t been the same since undergoing shoulder surgery in the summer.

Now, their spluttering seasons have caught up to the pair, as Southgate didn’t name them in his upcoming squad, meaning that they will be staying back at Carrington while Maguire meets up with the rest of the England lads. Maguire has been under constant scrutiny for a poor season himself, but Southgate sees him as a crucial part of his set up.

It’s a nice problem to have for Southgate, as he has so many bright attacking options in his England side, and the boss delivered a brutal blow to Rashford after acknowledging his omission. Southgate said: “In the last eight squads, he has ended up pulling out of five [actually six] while Maguire has been in the team and a key part of the team for massive matches over a long period of time.

“For various reasons, Marcus has dropped out of that a little bit. We have players in that area of the pitch playing at a better level, so it is harsh but that is the nature of elite sport unfortunately.

“I don’t think they are big decisions, really. I think they’ve been fairly straightforward.” But this is the perfect fuel for Rashford and Sancho to get back to their best to be back in contention next time, and it could be perfect timing for Rangnick as United are desperately chasing a spot in the top four.

United are currently one point off the top four, but they have played a game more than Arsenal – who currently occupy the final Champions League place. But United still have to face the Gunners before the end of the season, meaning that they have a great chance to take the last spot should they beat Mikel Arteta’s side.

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It’s unlikely that Cristiano Ronaldo will want to stick around if United don’t qualify for the Champions League, and if they miss out on the top four it will be a disastrous season. But Rashford and Sancho have nine more Premier League games to prove a point and help catapult United up the table.

Their England snub should fuel them to do better, and with the World Cup just months away, they’ll be desperate to get back into contention. United will need a resurgent end of the season to get into the top four, and Rashford and Sancho will have to be firing in order to achieve that.

They will both have until April 2 to prepare for their next match, and they must use their short break to get back to their best before facing Leicester at Old Trafford.

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