England coach Gareth Southgate said the Manchester United players who were left out of the national squad have “a lot to do” to return to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
While defender Luke Shaw is absent through injury, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were not selected due to poor form, leaving Harry Maguire the only player in United’s squad for Tuesday’s Nations League match against Hungary.
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Rashford and Sancho are no longer favorites since England’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final last year, but Southgate said last month they still had enough club matches left to show their quality and change his mind ahead of the World Cup in November.
The two strikers missed United’s last three matches in the Premier League this season, as the club finished sixth and lost qualification for the Champions League.
When asked if United’s players would be fresher next season without facing Champions League football, Southgate told reporters: “We only have one player with us. They have a lot to do to get back into the squad.”
“I think the lower the burden, the less likely they are to get injuries and hopefully players will be more severe but there’s no way of knowing. Some players are at their best when they’re in the rhythm of play.”
Rashford scored only four goals in 24 Premier League games last season as injury and poor condition hampered him, while Sancho scored only three league goals in his first season with United.