Marcus Rashford has been named in Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad, meaning he will miss out on Sam Allardyce’s first senior selection.
The Manchester United forward scored on his England debut against Australia ahead of Euro 2016 after a breakthrough campaign at Old Trafford and was then one of few players to emerge with any credit from the tournament under Roy Hodgson.
However, following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s close-season arrival, Rashford is yet to be handed a Premier League appearance by United boss Jose Mourinho this season.
The 18-year-old has subsequently dropped into the Under-21 setup for England’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier against Norway on September 6, a decision Southgate was keen to explain.
“Last season, his pathway was remarkable and we’re very conscious of plotting how we develop our young players,” he said.
“We spoke a lot with Manchester United last season when we put him in the U20s in March, which both they and ourselves felt was the right thing at the time.
“He then continued his progress, which was great, and of course he played a part in Roy’s squad at the Euros.
“But if he’s less likely to start with the seniors at this moment in time, and Sam [Allardyce] is quite keen that people are playing regularly, we think that it’s now a good opportunity in his international development for him to be with the Under-21s.”
Everton’s Mason Holgate is included in Southgate’s squad for the first time, while a number of pla
yers who have switched clubs since their last call-ups are also involved, including Arsenal’s Rob Holding and Southampton’s Nathan Redmond.
Derby County’s Will Hughes also returns after a long-term injury absence.
England Under-21 squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Manchester City), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Joe Wildsmith (Sheffield Wednesday).
Defenders: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Brendan Galloway (West Bromwich Albion – on loan from Everton), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Rob Holding (Arsenal), Mason Holgate (Everton), Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Matt Targett (Southampton).
Midfielders: Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem – on loan from Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United), Will Hughes (Derby County), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), John Swift (Reading), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).
Forwards: Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Dominic Solanke (Chelsea), Duncan Watmore (Sunderland).