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Gareth Southgate issues World Cup warning to absent Man Utd stars

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho - England
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Harry Maguire is the only Manchester United player in the England squad for the current international break.

England manager Gareth Southgate has warned the absent Manchester United players from his current squad have ‘got a lot to do’ to reclaim their spots for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford are the three Red Devils players missing for this month’s UEFA Nations League fixtures. Harry Maguire is the only representative from Old Trafford in the squad.

Shaw is unavailable through injury, while Southgate omitted Sancho and Rashford due to poor form.

“They’ve got a lot to do to get back in the squad,” Southgate told reporters when asked if United players may be fresher without the Champions League.

“Well, look, I think the lower the load then, of course, the less likely for injuries and the hope that players can be that little bit sharper, but there’s no way of knowing.

“Some players are at their best when they’re in a rhythm of playing and you talk to some of our lads now and they want to play every game because that’s how they feel they get to their best level. Others need the breaks. They need longer recovery between the matches to be at their best.”

Who has the best chance of making the World Cup squad?

As Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell is currently the only recognized left-back available for England, Shaw has the best chance of getting back into Southgate’s plans.

As for Rashford and Sancho, however, it’s not so straightforward. The attackers were omitted for March’s internationals and overlooked again for June’s four Nations League matches.

Rashford hasn’t played for England since the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy last summer, while Sancho’s last international game came in a 5-0 win over Andorra in a World Cup qualifier in September.

The Three Lions play the final one of their summer Nations League games on Tuesday against Hungary. They then face Italy and Germany in September, before starting their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21.