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Gareth Southgate explains his decision to drop Marcus Rashford for England's game against Kosovo

Marcus Rashford had a lively game against Bulgaria.
Marcus Rashford had a lively game against Bulgaria.
Modified 11 Sep 2019, 00:55 IST

What's the news?

England boss dropped Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford in favour of Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho for the Euro 2020 qualifying fixture against Kosovo taking place tonight.

In case you missed it...

Marcus Rashford, alongside Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, enjoyed a vibrant game against Bulgaria at the Wembley Stadium. He won the penalty which was converted by Kane to score the third goal for England.

After Rashford's sparkling game against Bulgaria coming as wide forward, the Three Lions boss explained that 21-year-old's best position is playing as a "wide raider" rather than a striker. The 49-year-old explained by saying:

"We’ve for a long time almost wanted Marcus to be that option as a nine, I’m still not certain that that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work."
“A lot of his development at United was as a ‘wide raider’ and I think he isn’t as strong as Harry with his back to goal and holding play up, so if he plays as a nine, he will play it differently to Harry, but a lot of his best work is in that inside-left channel coming in off the line."
“I don’t think that’s a problem, we just have to be aware that that’s probably his profile to get the best out of him, they’re the areas on the pitch that he needs to get in.”

The heart of the matter

Surprisingly, Marcus Rashford found his name in the substitutes rather than being in the starting XI. Southgate explained his decision by saying: (quotes from ITV via MEN)

"Freshen the team really. We were pleased with both of the full-backs and Marcus but we’ve got some good players to come in,"
"It’s a chance in those wide areas, where there is a heavy load, to freshen the group and there’s some players we want to take a closer look at."

Speaking about Jadon Sancho, the England manager said:

He offers his ability in one on one to beat players, to take them out of the game, his decision making when he is running forward at speed is excellent,"
"His number of assists and goals with Dortmund speaks for itself, so he’s a very exciting player in an area of the pitch where we have a few."

What's next?

England's international fixtures end for now tonight with the game against Kosovo. The Three Lions' next Euro 2020 qualifying fixture is against the Czech Republic on October 11.

Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford will prepare with Manchester United as they host Leicester City at the Old Trafford for a Premier League clash on September 14.

Published 11 Sep 2019, 00:55 IST
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