Gareth Southgate sends warning to Marcus Rashford as Kobbie Mainoo's Man Utd role assessed ahead of Euro 2024

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Two of Manchester United's English stars have been in the headlines for very different reasons in recent weeks.

Gareth Southgate insists he and his England coaching staff are 'observing everything on and off the pitch' ahead of picking his squad for this summer's European Championships.

Marcus Rashford has made headlines in recent weeks for his off-pitch antics, having called in sick for Manchester United training the day after a late night out in Belfast. ManchesterWorld understands the club were misled over their forward's whereabouts, believing he flew back to the UK on Thursday.

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The 26-year-old has enjoyed a spell of decent form on either side of that disciplinary issue but still faces a battle to make the 23-man squad for this summer, with plenty of competition on that left-wing. There is only one international break before that shortlist needs to be confirmed and Southgate is keeping a close eye on all of his players.

“We’re five weeks away from picking a squad, although so much happens to players over the period between November and March that we’re always sitting and observing everything on and off the pitch,” Southgate told The Telegraph. “Then in a few weeks’ time we’ll have decisions to make on the whole squad and there’s going to be a lot of attention on that because it’s the final squad before the Euros.”

Southgate will automatically have to cut three players from his previous two squads, with UEFA confirming a maximum of 23 players as opposed to 26 at the 2022 World Cup and Euro 2020. Despite that, there have been recent calls for a new addition currently breaking through at United.

Kobbie Mainoo only made his Premier League debut against Everton in November but has already become a pillar of Erik ten Hag's team. The 18-year-old has scored his first two senior goals since the turn of the year and was excellent again during last weekend's win at home to West Ham.

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“I think he’s doing brilliantly for a young player,” Southgate added of Mainoo. “He’s had an excellent start for United. I’m not certain he’s necessarily going to be a defensive midfielder, as such. He’s quite a progressive player, but he’s had a fabulous start to his career and it will be good to monitor him as we go forward.”

Mainoo is currently being targeted to switch allegiance and join the Ghanaian national team, with both of his parents coming from the west African nation. He has represented England from under-17 to under-19 level and is hoped to keep building through those ranks and into the first-team.

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