Gareth Southgate has opened the door for the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to earn a spot in England’s World Cup squad, though another Manchester United star is set for a spell on the sidelines.
The Three Lions were denied victory in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Germany on Monday night – meaning they have not won a competitive match since last November – but produced a spirited comeback after fighting back from two goals down.
With England’s form having been so sketchy in 2022, it still feels as though there are plenty of places up for grabs on the plane to Qatar later this year and Southgate says the likes of Rashford, Sancho and other former squad members are all still in contention.
Asked about Rashford at his post-match press conference, Southgate said: ‘We would be foolish not to keep an open mind to especially players that have worked with us before, who we know and know us and can slot in pretty comfortably.
‘The way Eric Dier has played across the two games is a really good example of that. He didn’t need the adaptation, he fits in with the group immediately.
‘So those guys in particular [that have been part of previous squads] we’re monitoring closely.
‘But we’ve also got to keep an open mind on others because in certain positions we don’t have a lot of depth and we’ve still got to be analysing if there’s someone who can come in and improve the squad that we’ve got.’
Southgate also confirmed that Harry Maguire picked up an injury in the closing stages against Germany but decided to play on, though could now be kept out of action.
‘John Stones is feeling something with his hamstring and I think Harry is feeling something a little bit as well,’ revealed the England boss.
Three Lions skipper Harry Kane also referenced Maguire’s ‘pretty decent injury’ and praised the United skipper for playing on regardless, while he backed the defender after he gifted Germany a goal from the penalty spot.
Asked about both Maguire and Nick Pope – who also made a late error for Germany’s equaliser – Kane said: ‘You know any individual mistake you’re going to be gutted. But we’re a team, we get behind each other, they learn from it, they move on.
‘They’ve been great for us every time they’ve put an England shirt on. H [Maguire] had a pretty decent injury at the end there and he played another five or 10 minutes on almost one leg. So great character from him, really proud of him for that.’
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