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Southgate explains Sancho & Rashford’s England snubs

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho - England
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The Manchester United forwards are out of the England squad for two international friendlies against Switzerland on March 26 and Ivory Coast on March 29.

England manager Gareth Southgate has said the form of others pushed Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho out of his squad.

Arsenal duo Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka along with Manchester City trio Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, and Jack Grealish have got the nod instead as Southgate’s wide attackers.

Why did Southgate drop Rashford & Sancho?

Rashford, who was part of the Three Lions squad in November, has struggled for game time since then. United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has mostly used the 24-year-old as a substitute.

“It is a difficult time for [Rashford],” said Southgate in a press conference on Thursday.

“He’s clearly not at his best. There’s plenty of time, we know a lot about Marcus anyway and hopefully he can rediscover some of his form.”

As for Sancho, who has enjoyed an upturn in form and opportunities at Old Trafford recently, Southgate said: “Because with the other attacking players in the squad are slightly ahead of him in the moment in our feeling.”

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s Reece James, meanwhile, got the nod over Manchester City’s Kyle Walker as Southgate’s right-back options.

The England boss, however, has said he plans to recall Walker for the June internationals. He has also handed Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi his first call-up to the national team.

England’s 25-man squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Nick Pope (Burnley).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolves), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).