Marcus Rashford sends England message as Gareth Southgate admits concerns over key players

·1-min read
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England manager Gareth Southgate admits the fortunes of a number of key players at club level heading into the international break is far from a “perfect situation”.

Southgate named a 28-man squad for games against Germany and Italy in the UEFA Nations League, including the likes of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips.

All three played key roles during England’s journey to the Euro 2020 final and remain prominent figures of Southgate’s set-up, although their lack of football at club level is a major concern.

The Manchester United pair have been two of the most high-profile victims of Erik ten Hag’s at Old Trafford, falling out of the first-team, while Phillips has been handed only 13 minutes of action since his move to Manchester City, albeit injuries have played their part.

Speaking on Thursday, Southgate said: “Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club.

“It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.”

Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, has hit form of late but misses out due to injury and sent a message of support to his teammates.

The United forward tweeted: “In regards to @England every player wants to represent their country and I’m no different! Unfortunately I’m not ready yet as I’ve picked up an untimely injury.”