Michael Owen shocked by Marcus Rashford’s Euro 2024 omission

Manchester United forward Rashford was one of two high-profile, experienced omissions from Southgate’s initial 33-man training squad for this summer’s tournament along with former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.

Rashford’s exclusion comes after a frustrating season in which he scored just eight goals in 42 appearances in all competitions for United.

Owen, who netted 40 goals for his country in 89 appearances, wrote on X: “Very surprised Gareth Southgate has left @MarcusRashford out of his squad.

“Granted he’s had a poor season by his standards but tournament football is different and he’s always been confident in an England shirt.

“We’ve many talented attacking players but very few with Rashford’s pace. In such a big squad, he was worth the risk.”

Owen’s thoughts were echoed by another former England attacker in Paul Merson, who feels Rashford’s experience could have made a big difference.

Merson told Sky Sports News: “I’m really shocked. I know people will say he hasn’t been good but tournament football is so, so different.

“I would have taken him, 100 per cent. I don’t know what’s going on in the lad’s life but, as a player, he’s played in tournaments before and that’s so important. Tournament football is like no other football.

Rashford has failed to spark this season (John Walton/PA)

“I think you lose pace, you lose goals and he’s scored goals in tournaments. He can play on the wing, he can play up front.

“He’s one of those hot players. He can be freezing cold, don’t get me wrong – but when the lad catches fire and he’s hot, he’s unplayable. And that’s what you need to win tournaments.”

Dion Dublin, another former England striker, backed Southgate’s decisions, however.

Dublin told BBC Radio 5 Live: “In the situation, I think he’s picked incredibly well, I really do.

“Yes, he’s having to leave some behind but I think this is his most attacking and positive squad that he’s picked so far.

“I’m in Gareth’s corner here because I think he’s done a great job.”

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