Sterling, Henderson and Rashford Left Out of England’s Euro 2024 Squad

Marcus Rashford for England
Marcus Rashford for England (PC: X)

Gareth Southgate announced a 33-man provisional squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 on Tuesday, and the biggest news that broke the Internet was the absence of Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling from the squad. Rashford’s Manchester United teammate, Jadon Sancho, was another notable omission, as was the injury-plagued Chelsea full-back, Reece James.  

Rashford has been in poor form this season, scoring just eight goals and contributing five assists across 42 games in all competitions. The downturn in his performances contributed greatly to Manchester United’s eighth-place finish in the English Premier League (EPL), their worst in decades.  

Lack of form and fitness have been a concern for Rashford over the last few seasons. In the 2021-22 season, he missed 17 games with three different injuries, while in the following campaign, he failed to turn up in 11 games for club and country due to four different injuries. Rashford has played 60 times for England after making his debut in May 2016, scoring on 17 occasions.

Sterling, who hadn’t played for the Three Lions since the Qatar World Cup in 2022, has 20 goals from 82 caps, one appearance more than Jordan Henderson, former Liverpool captain, had managed.

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Marcus Rashford with Gareth Southgate
Marcus Rashford with Gareth Southgate (PC: X)

At the press conference, when Southgate was asked about the decision, he said: “These are of course difficult calls. You are talking about very good players who have been important over a number of years. With Marcus, other players in his position have had better seasons. It’s as simple as that.”

Rashford scored his last England goal against Italy, current European champions, in October 2023, and his axing shocked Paul Merson, former Arsenal and England stalwart. On a Sky Sports’ show, Merson said: “It’s huge news. Sixty caps, been in tournaments, scores goals and you can rely on him. If it was any other time you’d probably stay it was not a shock, but Gareth picks people out of form – he picks people even if they aren’t in their team. I am really shocked. He hasn’t been good, but tournament football is so different to [club football]. It’s like no other type of football. When Rashford gets hot, he gets hot and you need that in tournament football.”

Sancho appeared to have turned a corner on loan at Borussia Dortmund, turning in a thrilling display in the first leg of their upset European Champions League semi-final win against Paris Saint-Germain. But the lack of game time across the season, after being frozen out by Eric ten Hag at Manchester United, has gone against him.

James and Ben Chilwell have struggled with injuries all campaign, and like Sterling, they too will ponder the cost of a disastrous season of transition at Stamford Bridge.

The provisional squad has several new faces like Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Jarrell Quansah, Curtis Jones (both Liverpool), and Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace). Harry Kane is the only forward with more than 50 caps, with no one else even in possession of 40.

Gareth Southgate with Jadon Sancho
Gareth Southgate with Jadon Sancho (PC: X)

England’s provisional squad announced

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), James Trafford (Burnley).

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Man City).

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Kobbie Mainoo (Man Utd), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace).

Forwards: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Man City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

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