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Man Utd star Greenwood withdraws from England U21 European Championship squad

14:56 GMT 23/03/2021
Mason Greenwood Manchester United 2020-21
The teenage forward has been replaced by Norwich City star Todd Cantwell for the group-stage fixtures that are due to be played in Slovenia

Manchester United star Mason Greenwood has withdrawn from England's U21 squad for the European Championship group stages.

Greenwood was initially included in Aidy Boothroyd's final 23-man list for the tournament, which is due to kick off in Slovenia on Wednesday and begins with just the group stages before the knockout phase resumes in May and June.

The FA has, however, released an official statement confirming Greenwood has been forced to pull out through injury, with Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell being called up as his replacement.

What's been said?

"Todd Cantwell has been called into our England men's under-21 squad for the UEFA U21 EURO Finals," the statement on the FA's official website reads.

"The Norwich City player joins up to replace the injured Mason Greenwood in Aidy Boothroyd's group.

"Cantwell, who has three MU21 caps to his name from this qualifying campaign, has joined the 23-man squad travelling to Slovenia on Tuesday afternoon."

How many games could Greenwood miss?

Boothroyd will have to make do without Greenwood for all three of England's group games at the Euros, starting with a clash against Switzerland on Thursday.

The 19-year-old will also be absent against Portugal and Croatia, but he could still be available for the knockout stages if the Three Lions make it through.

The quarter-finals are not due to take place until May 31, with UEFA having been forced to alter their dates for the competition to avoid a scheduling clash with the senior tournament this summer - which was pushed back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Depending on how serious Greenwood's injury is, he could also sit out United's first game back after the international break, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side set to play host to Brighton on April 4.

Why was Greenwood selected for the U21s in the first place?

Greenwood has previously appeared in four games for the U21s, but was not expected to feature for Boothroyd's side again after earning his first cap at senior level in May last year.

However, Gareth Southgate decided to leave the Red Devils forward out of his squad for the Three Lions' opening set of 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which gave Boothroyd the opportunity to bring him back into the fold.

"We just felt as an organisation that Mason is going to be a key player in the future and we wanted to get him into this tournament, get some games into him and know what it’s like to be at a tournament," the U21s head coach said after his squad announcement.

"Gareth is speaking regularly to Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] in this case and we think he’s a top player. But he is young, he needs guidance and help. Gareth will speak to him before we meet up."

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