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Rashford and Henderson omitted from preliminary England squad for Euro 2024

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 May 2024

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Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson have been omitted from Gareth Southgate’s 33-man preliminary squad for England’s Euro 2024 campaign.

Rashford scored 30 goals in all competitions for Manchester United in 2022-23 and has been a fixture in Southgate’s England squads, but a dismal 2023-24 campaign has led to him being overlooked.

He scored seven goals in 33 Premier League appearances this season, making it his second worst campaign since netting five times as a teenager in 2016-17. He scored just four times under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick in 2021-22.

Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon has benefitted from Rashford’s drop-off, receiving the call-up ahead of June’s warm-up friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland.

Henderson, meanwhile, has seen his England place fiercely debated since he left Liverpool to join Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq last year.

The 33-year-old was booed by some England fans during a friendly win over Australia last October, having suggested his presence in Saudi Arabia could be a “positive” thing for LGBTQ+ rights in the country in a widely criticised interview with The Athletic.

Henderson – who has 81 senior England caps – swapped Al-Ettifaq for Ajax in January in a bid to ensure he made Southgate’s squad, but that effort has been unsuccessful.

Henderson made nine Eredivisie appearances for Ajax in 2023-24, failing to prevent them from finishing fifth, their lowest position since 1999-00 (also fifth).

His exclusion, which could spell the end of his international career, has opened the door for a surprise call-up for Adam Wharton, who has excelled since joining Crystal Palace from Blackburn Rovers in January.

The 20-year-old, who has only been capped once at under-21 level, contributed to a stunning upturn under Oliver Glasner as Palace clinched a top-half Premier League finish.

Palace have won 24 points in 13 Premier League games under Glasner. From his first match on February 24 onwards, only Manchester City (35), Arsenal (34) and Chelsea (28) bettered their tally.

Wharton’s Palace team-mate Eberechi Eze is also in after scoring 11 goals and registering four assists in 2023-24, while Liverpool’s Curtis Jones is another uncapped midfielder to make the squad.

Elsewhere, Southgate has several fitness concerns among his defensive cohort, and Chelsea full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell are two big-name omissions after enduring injury-hit campaigns.

Chilwell, who also missed the 2022 World Cup through injury, was limited to just 756 minutes across 13 Premier League appearances this campaign.

James, meanwhile, returned from a long-term hamstring injury in a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest recently, but saw his season end one game early when he was sent off in a victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah, Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, Palace’s Marc Guehi and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk have all been included at centre-back alongside regular starters Harry Maguire and John Stones, while Luke Shaw is also in despite missing long periods through injury.

Captain Harry Kane is also present after missing the end of Bayern Munich’s season with a back issue, which required him to travel back to England to undergo treatment.

Southgate will cut his squad down to 26 players after England face Iceland in their final pre-tournament friendly at Wembley Stadium on June 7.

Full 33-man squad: Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), James Trafford (Burnley), Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester 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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