Southgate sweating on the fitness of Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire
The United skipper, Maguire has not played for the club since leaving the field injured against Aston Villa. An automatic starter for England, Southgate’s concerns are understandable.
Unfortunately for the Three Lions, the 28-year-old does not appear to be close to making it in time to put the nation at ease. With the tournament set to kick off on June 11, time is running out fast for him to prove his fitness.
The England squad meet up this weekend at St. George’s Park. Southgate has already admitted he has been kept in the dark over Maguire’s ankle injury.
The United ace was among 12 defenders named by the English manager in his 33-man provisional squad. That number will be whittled down to 26 in the coming days.
While Maguire did make the original list, it will be a massive blow for England if he cannot take part in the tournament. Even if he does, he will have gone a month without playing and will be lacking in match fitness.
It would appear that Southgate is willing to be patient and offer Maguire every chance to prove his fitness. Frankly, the English boss has no other choice.
To exacerbate matters, Southgate is also sweating on Rashford, who is nursing shoulder and foot injuries. The 23-year-old looked knackered and out of sorts against Villarreal and does not appear to be at his best.
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Even if Rashford is fit, he is coming off a hectic season and will be fatigued, to begin with. While Maguire’s injury can be attributed to a freak tackle, the onus on Rashford’s condition has to fall on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Better man-management could have helped the 23-year-old retain better fitness over the course of the season. With a busy summer ahead of him, the chances of Rashford returning to action for us next season, well-rested is highly unlikely.
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