Gareth Southgate cites Tottenham star Eric Dier as an example when addressing Marcus Rashford World Cup situation
England manager Gareth Southgate, speaking at his post-match press conference (h/t Metro) has cited Eric Dier as an example to follow when addressing the question of Manchester United Marcus Rashford making the cut for the World Cup squad that travels to Qatar.
Rashford was surprisingly left out of England’s squad for their two UEFA Nations League games this month. Dier, instead, made the team after sitting out of international action for around a year and a half.
Rashford being dropped would expectedly raise his insecurity over making Southgate’s 26-man squad that travels to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup in November.
However, the Three Lions boss believes that like Dier, Rashford is a player that can fit into the team seamlessly no matter when he links up with them. Since the managers won’t have a lot of time with their teams before the World Cup, the September squads assumed major importance.
It would give the managers a chance to work with the players they would want to take with them to the World Cup. For Dier, the call-up has come at the right time in that regard.
He also started both of England’s UEFA Nations League games this month, doing so in the 1-0 loss against Italy at San Siro and the 3-3 draw against Germany at Wembley. 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.”
Southgate has clearly indicated that it is still an open race for quality English players to make a case for themselves to be at the World Cup. Hence, the likes of Rashford and Jadon Sancho being excluded this month doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t go to Qatar.
Dier made England’s World Cup squad for the 2018 edition in Russia, where the Three Lions managed to make it to the semi-finals before losing to Croatia at the penultimate hurdle.
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Harry Maguire has been out-of-form for Manchester United and England and hence, Dier would fancy himself being in contention to be a regular starter for his country. John Stones is another defender expected to make England’s squad in the coming weeks.