Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho is still targeting a place in England’s World Cup squad this winter, despite not being included for September’s internationals.
Sancho hasn’t played for his country in just under a year now having failed to impress at club level with United last season. However, the former Borussia Dortmund star has begun this season well, being a first-team regular under Erik ten Hag and scoring three goals in six starts.
Given that form, many expected Gareth Southgate to bring him back into the England squad for the upcoming Nations League matches, but the manager opted against doing so.
This is the last squad before Southgate makes his final World Cup selection for November and so it now seems unlikely Sancho will be on the plane to Qatar. Yet the 22-year-old still has faith he can make it and doing so is one of his primary goals.
“Yeah, 100 per cent, that is one of the targets,” Sancho said of aiming for a World Cup place. “It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get the call-up, but I have to just keep focussing on myself and keep on working hard, week in and week out, that’s what I’ll do.”
Manchester United team-mate Marcus Rashford is in a similar boat to Sancho in that he lost his place in the England setup after struggling at Old Trafford. He looked set to be brought back into the fold after a strong start to the season, only to be left out.
However, Rashford has clarified that fitness issues are the reason he wasn’t called up.
“Unfortunately I’m not ready yet as I’ve picked up an untimely injury,” he tweeted.
Southgate clarified that Rashford is still very much in with a chance of being in the final squad.
“There were certain players we wanted to keep involved this time, but that said it doesn’t mean that this is the end for some of the others who aren’t involved,” he said.
“Marcus Rashford, for example, has shown some encouraging signs recently. He is a player we know well so if he can perform at a high level in the next few weeks, he of course will be under consideration.”