- Rashford withdrew due to knock
- Spotted in NYC during Italy match
- Southgate bemoaned frequent absences
WHAT HAPPENED? Manchester United confirmed the news on Monday that the in-form striker would be forced to withdraw from the latest Three Lions setup due to a "knock". England rejected the opportunity to bring in a replacement and managed just fine in Rashford's absence, with Harry Kane scoring a record-breaking goal as Southgate's side kicked off their European qualifying campaign with a historic win over Italy.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Despite the 2-1 victory, the Three Lions boss bemoaned not having all his offensive tools at his disposal, telling reporters: “So, in terms of a loss, when you haven’t had [Rashford] that often then it’s different to being a loss. But without a doubt he was in good form. We were looking forward to seeing him.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Having already featured for United 44 times this season, spanning across four different competitions, the likelihood of Rashford picking up an issue is undoubtedly increased - something which his United team-mate Raphael Varane touched on in a recent interview.
But while it may have been expected that the forward would stay in Manchester to receive treatment for said knock, he instead travelled to New York alongside fiancee Lucia Loi, where he was spotted while England were playing Italy. Indeed, The Times reports that the Three Lions camp were unaware of the trip to the U.S.
AND WHAT'S MORE: It is also not the first time Rashford has missed England duty, as Southgate alludes to. While no fault of his own, the 25-year-old was absent for the Three Lions' Euro 2020 qualifiers in March 2019 due to an ankle problem, and was unavailable for their World Cup qualifying campaign in 2021 as he focused on regaining full fitness.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty Getty Images
DID YOU KNOW? Rashford has only featured in five of England's last 21 matches in all competitions, with all of his appearances coming in the 2022 World Cup.
WHAT NEXT FOR RASHFORD? After a rest period for his recent exploits at club level, the striker will next be in action for United when they travel to Newcastle on April 2.