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Marcus Rashford withdraws from England squad after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer repeats mistake

England will be without Marcus Rashford for their World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino as the forward continues to recover from illness and injury

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reviews Manchester City defeat

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has withdraw from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

The forward will use the two-week Premier League break to focus on regaining his fitness after a bout of illness and a long injury lay-off.

Rashford started United’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City from the bench and was unable to train on Thursday or Friday as a result of his illness.

The player is also yet to complete 90 minutes since returning from shoulder surgery in October, featuring in just four Premier League games this term.

Rashford and fellow England withdrawal James Ward-Prowse have been replaced in the squad by highly-rated Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe.

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Marcus Rashford is out of England’s World Cup qualifiers


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The midfielder has impressed for the Gunners this term and looks set to win his first senior cap, four years after lifting the U17 World Cup in India.

Many England supporters were disappointed with Smith Rowe’s initial international snub earlier this month, although Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta saw the positives in that.

Arteta told reporters: “I think he [Smith Rowe] should be happy If people are gutted or if they’re questioning the decision because it shows the level he’s playing at.

“Like anything in Emile’s career, it will come in the right moment.”

Some England fans will be frustrated with Rashford’s withdrawal as there’s a belief the forward was rushed back from illness to come off the bench against City.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously been accused of selecting players before they’re fit, including Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane.

The latter recently suffered a hamstring strain after making a swift recovery from a groin injury he picked up on international duty last month.

There may also be some annoyance directed at Solskjaer after United stars Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho were left out of Southgate’s squad due to their lack of minutes in recent weeks.

Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe has his chance



Sancho was left on the bench for United’s games against Tottenham and Liverpool, while Lingard hasn’t started a Premier League fixture under Solskjaer since the 2019-20 campaign.

Discussing his decision to leave the two players out of his England squad, Southgate said: “Jadon and Jesse are not playing a lot of football compared to others in their positions.

“A player in a position with less depth could get in with less club time. Jesse has had 10-15 minutes, I don’t know what his form or fitness is to assess him.

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“Both those players understand that when I spoke to them. They know that at the moment they’ve got to get playing for their clubs and playing well.”

Mason Greenwood, meanwhile, will not play for England again until 2022 as aims to focus on club football before making the step up to international level.

Southgate added: “We had a discussion before the camp in September and we came to an agreement that we would park this until next year.”

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