Marcus Rashford has reacted to his withdrawal from the England squad through injury by admitting the matches came “too soon” for him to be ready.
The 22-year-old has been forced to pull out with an ankle injury sustained during Man Utd’s Europa League campaign, which only finished a fortnight ago.
United do have an extra week to prepare for the new Premier League season as a result, kicking off their campaign against Crystal Palace on September 19.
However Rashford faces a battle to be fit for the clash after dropping out of the Three Lions team for the Nations League fixtures next week, admitting he hadn’t had enough time to reach full fitness.
“Gutted, never want to let this team down but these fixtures just came a little too soon for me,” the forward tweeted.
“I tried my best but I have to focus on starting the season at my strongest for club and country.
“Good luck boys, I’ll be cheering you on from home.”
Rashford pulled out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the matches with Iceland and Denmark as a precaution to help focus his efforts on being ready for his club side.
A United statement read: “Marcus is completing his recovery from a minor ankle problem in order to be ready for the Premier League season.
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“The England games are just too soon given our short break after the Europa League.”
His withdrawal has handed an opportunity to Aston Villa star and Man Utd target Jack Grealish though.
The 24-year-old midfielder was not included in Southgate’s original selection despite a superb season for which he was among the Player of the Year nominees.
Grealish’s initial omission was a surprise given some of the other names involved, but Southgate defended his decision by claiming the likes of Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling were above him in the pecking order.
How should England line up without Rashford? Have your say below.
“I know, at times, Villa play Jack as a midfield player, that’s not where I see him in the way that we play,” Southgate said. “So with us he would be a wide player or a No 10 and I think we’ve got players at the moment that deserve to be in just ahead of him.”
The Villa skipper has finally earned his first call-up though as Rashford nurses his injury, and joins fellow debutants Wolves ‘ Conor Coady and Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles who have also been drafted in after the initial announcement.
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