Erik ten Hag risks escalating Marcus Rashford saga with comments on England snub

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has suggested Marcus Rashford deserved to be left out of England's Euro 2024 squad.

Rashford was one of several big-name omissions from Gareth Southgate's squad, with England regulars Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and James Maddison also axed. And Ten Hag has admitted he was not surprised to see Rashford axed.

While working as a pundit for Dutch broadcaster NOS on England's 1-0 win over Serbia in their tournament opener, Ten Hag said: "Grealish and Rashford were both lacking this season. And when you are lacking, you risk not getting picked for your country."

Rashford suffered a major dip in form last season, with the forward scoring just eight goals across all competitions after bagging 30 the year before. And when asked why the 26-year-old was struggling, Ten Hag said in April: "That is an interesting question.

"He knows, I know. It has to do with himself but also to do of course with the team. I already said our attacking game has improved a lot after the winter. But before winter our attacking game was not good enough.

"I think it's always the two factors I mentioned; it's the team and it's himself. They are of course related to each other. When he is not doing the right stuff out of possession I will confront him with this. I will give arguments and also we use data."

erik ten hag risks escalating marcus rashford saga with comments on england snub

Marcus Rashford was left out of England's Euro 2024 squad

Rashford was also fined two weeks' wages after missing training following a heavy drinking session in Belfast. The forward flew to Northern Ireland on a day off earlier this year to visit former teammate Ro-Shaun Williams, who now plays for Larne, and subsequently reported he was too ill to train.

Rashford ultimately missed United's FA Cup win over Newport, but was subsequently reinstated to the team after the club said he "took responsibility for his actions". However, it was reported by the Sun that Rashford and Ten Hag were 'barely on speaking terms' as a result of the incident.

The report claimed that he felt Rashford had 'tried to deceive him' by calling in sick and that some at the club were concerned the duo's relationship had 'broken down irrevocably' as a result.

erik ten hag risks escalating marcus rashford saga with comments on england snub

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag speaking on NOS

In his absence, England got their Euro 2024 campaign off to a winning start, but were made to work for their nervy 1-0 victory over Serbia. Jude Bellingham got the Three Lions off to the perfect start by scoring in the opening exchanges, but Southgate's side let their Group C opponents back into the game and were on the ropes for much of the second half.

After the win, Ten Hag took a sly dig at the England boss, who had been heavily touted as his potential replacement at Old Trafford. "It's the vision of the manager," Ten Hag explained while giving his verdict on the game.

"England will take a 1-0 lead, then he [Southgate] decides to start gambling with making his team compact and relying on moments for the remaining minutes of the game."

England continue their campaign against Denmark on Thursday, before rounding off their group stage against Slovenia on June 25.

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