Usurped Man Utd ace at risk of losing England place before World Cup, but pair of teammates ready for recalls

·4-min read
Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw with England Credit: PA Images
Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw with England Credit: PA Images

Luke Shaw risks missing out on a place in the England squad ahead of the World Cup due to injury, but two of his Manchester United teammates have better chances.

Shaw was a key player for England at Euro 2020, starting regularly at left-back. He even scored his country’s goal in the final against Italy, although the Three Lions went on to lose on penalties at Wembley Stadium.

Since then, Shaw has been fighting for his place at Manchester United. This season, for example, he is facing competition from Tyrell Malacia, who joined the club in the summer.

On paper, Shaw has the talent to be a starter for club and country. However, he has been held back at various stages of his career by injury issues – which have resurfaced in the first few weeks of this season.

Shaw was absent for the final stretch of last season after surgery. And although he started Manchester United’s first two matches of the new Premier League season, he has not played since being taken off at half time of the second, a defeat to Brentford.

Now, the Manchester Evening News has provided an update on Shaw’s availability. According to the regional paper, the former Southampton star is suffering from a foot injury.

The problem itself is minor, but it could have bigger implications. Indeed, Shaw’s selection for the England squad for the September international break – which will be announced on Thursday – is at serious risk.

In turn, his hopes of going to the World Cup in November could also be affected. After all, the September matches against Italy and Germany in the UEFA Nations League represent the last chance for Gareth Southgate to assess his players before the tournament in Qatar.

And with Malacia impressing in his place for Manchester United, Shaw is facing a battle to recover his role for club and country.

Sancho, Rashford ready for recalls

However, the situation is looking brighter for two of his club colleagues when it comes to the national team.

A recent report from the Daily Mail indicated that forwards Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are getting back into Southgate’s thoughts.

The pair both missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shootout and went on to endure a disappointing 2021-22 season with Manchester United.

But each of them has been better so far this season. Rashford has three goals from six games so far, while Sancho has two from seven.

Sancho hasn’t been selected by Southgate since October 2021, while for Rashford, the wait has been even longer, stretching back to the Euro final.

However, the Daily Mail has predicted that both will be in Southgate’s squad again this week.

The same will go for Harry Maguire, despite the Manchester United captain being out of form and out of favour.

England squad taking shape but will Luke Shaw make it?

By now, Southgate should have a clear enough idea of whom he will be taking to Qatar.

Sancho and Rashford have done well to work their way back into contention. Their task is to maintain their revived form for the next couple of months.

As for Luke Shaw, a battle could be ahead for his place. First and foremost, he must go about dislodging Malacia from the Manchester United position, but that will not be easy.

If he manages, he might yet have a chance to get back in Southgate’s thoughts again. After all, there are not many natural left-backs at the England manager’s disposal. Another of them, Ben Chilwell, is also struggling for starts at Chelsea.

Hence, Southgate will have to weigh up which of them would be worth taking – if either. Selecting an out-of-form player has its risks, but so would neglecting a particular area of his squad – especially with 26 places available, rather than the usual 23.

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