Marcus Rashford and team-mate to join England late due to ‘personal matters’

England have announced that both Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips will join up with the squad later this week due to ‘personal matters’. Gareth Southgate has already had to make changes to his squad this week following injuries to Jude Bellingham, Levi Colwill, James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk.

Cole Palmer, Ezri Konsa and Rico Lewis have replaced the latter three and joined up with their compatriots at St George’s Park on Monday. Rashford and Phillips weren’t present though as England announced the pair will join up with the squad later this week.

The statement read: “Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips will meet up later this week owing to personal matters.” Rashford has been a regular feature in Southgate’s squad when fit, but he may need to pick up some form heading into the European Championships next summer to be sure of a starting spot.

Phillips has also been called up to the squad regularly, despite a lack of minutes at club level with Manchester City.

Southgate refused to be drawn into Rashford’s slump in form for United, insisting it’s up to the striker to turn his fortune around. The England boss said: “In the end – and respectfully – with the big bucks comes the big pressure. He is the guy that got all the goals last year.

“Of course, here [with England] we’ve been able to share the goals around and maybe there’s less emphasis on just one person, which I think helps them all – I’m sure even for Harry [Kane], he’s not thinking I’ve got to be the one to score. Maybe with Rasmus Hojlund scoring now at United that will help, but you know over a period of time Marcus has scored goals, so that’s going to happen again.”

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Rashford scored 30 goals in all competitions last season, but he’s found the net just once this campaign. Erik ten Hag has backed his attacker to rediscover his best form and is prepared to stand with him.

“I think he’s not happy, we are not happy. We have expectations, he has high expectations of himself,” Ten Hag said about Rashford’s start to this season,” he said. “At this moment, he is not in his best form. But I know he will be back. I know when the team is playing better, he will play better, he will score goals. I am confident of that.

“This season he will improve and score goals, he’s totally in the team and aware on everything. He will be back on track. That can happen very quickly. Sometimes you need only one game, I’m sure he will get there.”

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