England call-up for Palace defender as Rashford, Sancho pay price for Man Utd struggles
Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi has received his maiden England squad call-up, while Ben White is also recalled – but there is no place for either Marcus Rashford or his Manchester United teammate Jadon Sancho.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has excluded the out-of-sorts United pair, having named a 25-man squad for the forthcoming Wembley friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast. The pair are also joined on the sidelines by Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker, who also misses out.
Former Chelsea youngster Guehi captained Lee Carsley’s Under-21 side during the last international break. He’s now rewarded for his fine form with a maiden senior call-up.
Nick Pope returned in place of Sam Johnstone as one of three goalkeepers. Meanwhile, Declan Rice and James Ward-Prowse also earned recalls.
Injuries ruled out Ben Chilwell and Kalvin Phillips, with Luke Shaw not the sole Manchester United player in the squad. He is also the only recognised left-back in the England squad.
With preparations now under way for the World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off in November, Walker, Sancho and Rashford will be concerned at missing out.
While Rashford has struggled for form, Sancho has just started reaching the sort of levels which prompted United to spend £73million on the forward last summer.
The pair both missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shoot-out defeat to Italy. And the pair had been backed by Southgate until now.
🏴 The England squad for the friendly games against Switzerland and Côte d’Ivoire has been announced.
Thoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/U6iOEn0Re1
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) March 17, 2022
Walker is another surprise omission. As such, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James the two right-backs included this time around.
Emile Smith Rowe and Conor Gallagher retained their places. The pair were called up due to injuries in the November international break and have both been in excellent form.
Southgate explains England squad selections
England boss Southgate said Guehi’s performances for Palace mean his selection is fully vindicated.
Southgate said: “With Marc he has had a really consistent season, I have been really impressed on and off the ball.
“In the biggest games he has been really calm, we know a lot about him from the junior teams. There are some centre-halves who are pushing and very close but we have chosen Marc and Ben White.”
On Sancho, Southgate added: “There are other attacking players in our squad who are ahead of him in our opinion. Jadon in the last few weeks his performances have improved. But it is an area of the pitch where we have competition for places.
“With Marcus, he is in the same position as everyone else. Whether they are in the squad or not they all have to play well in the next period. It is a difficult time for him, he is clearly not at his best.
“There is plenty of time, we know about Marcus, we know what he can bring to us.”
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