Euro 2024: Rashford out of England squad; Eze, Mainoo in

England manager Gareth Southgate named his provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2024 with call-ups for Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Kobbie Mainoo, but there was no place for Marcus Rashford or Jordan Henderson.

Southgate included five non-international players in total – Liverpool’s Curtis Jones and Jarell Quansah, Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, Crystal Palace midfielder Adam Wharton and Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford – as part of an expanded group strong in attacking talent.

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Cole Palmer, Anthony Gordon and Ollie Watkins were rewarded for their excellent seasons with Chelsea, Newcastle and Aston Villa respectively, while Brentford striker Ivan Toney was also included despite returning in January from an eight-month suspension for violate the Football Association’s betting rules.

Jack Grealish was selected despite starting just 10 league games in Manchester City’s title-winning campaign, while Mainoo’s dramatic rise continues having only made his full league debut for Manchester United against Everton in November.

Mainoo’s United team-mate Luke Shaw has been included despite being sidelined since February with a muscle injury.

UEFA’s deadline for the submission of the final squad is midnight on June 7, when Southgate will have to select 26 players from Thursday’s list to take to Germany.

The expanded number Southgate announced at St. George’s Park on Thursday is indicative of a range of fitness concerns that the 53-year-old admitted were unprecedented during his eight years as England manager.

“We’ve never had so many unknown situations,” Southgate said at a news conference. “We have had tournaments where we have chosen players who we know will be back at a certain point in the tournament. We have had tournaments where we have had two English teams in the Champions League final and we have had no players for the games. They are different problems, but we are used to dealing with that.

“There are a significant number, that will be evident when looking at the players who have missed the last few games of the season and the players who have just returned for the last few games of the season.

“We have a major physical challenge in the sense that some players are going to need a little more work, but we have to make sure we press at the right times, give them the minutes they need in games. Other players don’t need a lot and need refresh.

“Everyone has a chance (to reach the final 26). There are definitely some players we wanted to see. The reason why the team is longer is that we were in a similar situation before the last Euro, and more time will help us” . make better decisions and could help us achieve a better balance in the team.

West Ham’s Gordon, captain Harry Kane and Jarrod Bowen missed their final club games through injury, with James Maddison, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Guehi recently returning from long absences.

Southgate admitted Shaw’s prospects of proving his fitness in time for the Euros were small.

“I have to say he faces that,” Southgate said. “He’s missed a lot of football. The fact that he was our first choice in that position (means) we’re probably giving him a little more time than we could have given him.

“I’m not sure what’s realistic at the moment. I’ve spoken to him, our medical team is working closely with Manchester United, but I have to say it’s a long shot.”

Rashford, 26, is the most high-profile omission, having been a member of the squad in England’s last four tournaments, dating back to Euro 2016.

He missed a penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final shootout defeat to Italy at Wembley and was a substitute when Southgate’s team was knocked out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup by France in the quarter-finals.

However, he has scored just seven goals in 33 league games this season, as United achieved their worst finish (eighth place) in the Premier League.

“With Marcus I feel like other players in that area of ​​the pitch have had better seasons, it’s as simple as that,” Southgate said, while Rashford wished the team luck in a post on Instagram.

Southgate was heavily criticized for continuing to select Henderson after the midfielder left Liverpool last summer to join Al Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia, a country whose human rights record has been widely condemned.

Henderson joined Ajax in January, partly in a bid to keep his chances of remaining part of Southgate’s team alive, but was left out along with Kalvin Phillips, who joined West Ham on loan from City in January with the same aim.

“Hendo has given himself every opportunity,” he said. “The determining factor has been the injury he suffered in the last camp. He missed five weeks and since then he has not been able to reach the intensity in the games.

“He is a fantastic professional. It was a very difficult decision to make because he has been very important, he has supported me a lot during my time here and I have to say that all the guys I have spoken to: Ben (White), Marcus, Jordan, “The three who were with us last time were incredibly professional, considering the disappointment, they handled it very well.”

Other players eliminated include Chelsea duo Raheem Sterling, who has not played for England since that quarter-final defeat to France in Qatar, and Levi Colwill, who made his senior debut against Australia last October.

Southgate has selected 11 defenders in the squad along with 12 forwards, although that includes all of England’s attacking options. He confirmed that the number would have to be reduced by June 7.

“I think you can take too many forwards,” he added. “You can have too many options in certain areas of the field. Of course, the forwards have to be loved and made to feel special.

“If you have too many, that can be complicated too. There’s a lot to think about over the next few weeks. I would have loved it to be cleaner and more definitive, but that’s not the situation we’re in.” “.

England will face Bosnia and Herzegovina in Newcastle on June 3 before facing Iceland at Wembley four days later.

England’s preliminary squad for Euro 2024:

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

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

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

Forward: Ivan Toney, Ollie Watkins, Anthony Gordon, Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, James Maddison, Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze, Jack Grealish