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Rashford is left out of England’s provisional squad for Euro 2024

Striker Marcus Rashford was the most notable omission when England manager Gareth Southgate named his provisional squad for Euro 2024 on Tuesday, while there was also no place for experienced midfielder Jordan Henderson.

Several non-international players – Liverpool duo Curtis Jones and Jarell Quansah, Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and Crystal Palace’s Adam Wharton – did feature in the provisional list of 33.

Southgate will reduce his squad to 26 before the June 7 deadline.

The exclusion of Rashford and former Liverpool midfielder Henderson were the big surprises given the loyalty Southgate has shown them and their role in previous tournaments.

Rashford, 26, has made 60 international appearances and scored 17 goals, including three at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but has struggled for form this season with just seven Premier League goals for Manchester United.

Henderson may also be considering his international future after his decision to join Ajax Amsterdam after a brief spell at Saudi club Al-Ettifaq did not pay off with a call-up.

Chelsea striker Raheem Sterling also missed out, but team-mate Cole Palmer was included after an excellent season.

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw is part of the provisional squad despite the left-back being out for a long period through injury.

“These are difficult decisions. With Marcus I feel like other players in that area have had better seasons. It’s as simple as that,” Southgate said of Rashford’s absence.

“This has been the most difficult group I remember choosing.”

England are widely considered favorites for the tournament in Germany after reaching the Euro 2020 final and the fact that they have arguably the most talented group of players in recent times, with the likes of Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka. all enjoying sensational club seasons.

While England boast a formidable attacking threat, there are concerns over their defence, which is perhaps why Southgate is prepared to scout new candidates before having to make his final decision for the tournament.

Southgate has remained loyal to Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, while team-mate Shaw remains a “long shot” due to a muscle injury that has sidelined him since February. The inclusion of Quansah, Branthwaite and Marc Guehi gives Southgate defensive options.

Wharton, 20, has been rewarded for an impressive season with Crystal Palace, while Jack Grealish, despite admitting he has been below his best with champions Manchester City this season, is still in the frame of a role in Germany.

Equipment:

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Aaron
Ramsdale, James Trafford

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite, Lewis Dunk, Joe Gómez, Marc
Guehi, Ezri Konsa, Harry Maguire, Jarell Quansah, Luke Shaw,
John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Gallagher, Curtis
Jones, Kobbie Mainoo, Declan Rice, Adam Wharton

Forwards: Jude Bellingham, Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze, Phil
Foden, Jack Grealish, Anthony Gordon, Harry Kane, James
Maddison, Cole Palmer, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney, Ollie Watkins
(Reporting by Martyn Herman
Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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