05 Sep Southgate realistic on Rashford
England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate knows he could lose Marcus Rashford to the senior squad for good.
The Manchester United striker is in Southgate’s squad for their Euro 2017 qualifier against Norway on Tuesday after dropping down and is set to make his U21 debut.
Rashford was called up for England’s dismal Euro 2016 campaign this summer – making two substitute appearances – having scored on his senior international debut against Australia in May and netting eight times for United last season.
He was left out of Sam Allardyce’s squad for their opening 1-0 World Cup qualifying win in Slovakia on Sunday but Southgate knows the 18-year-old, who has three caps, could easily become a permanent fixture with the new manager.
“We will always review things before each month, so it is not easy to be precise about what will happen,” he said. “Sam had four excellent forwards yesterday but you never know what happens with injuries, so it is difficult to plot from month-to-month.
“This is the first time that we have had the opportunity to work with him (Rashford). The most pleasing thing has been his mentality. This is an easy group to get on with but he looks like he has been here a long time. His mentality has been excellent.
“I have not spoken to Jose (Mourinho) this time but Sam and I have made the decision. Moving forward it is difficult to have a plan. Eric Dier and Dele Alli were with us last September and by November they had gone. The leap can be so quick and you never know when it will happen.”
While Rashford is likely to start on Tuesday, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has withdrawn from the squad with England top of Group 9 on goal difference ahead of Switzerland and a point above of Norway.
Midfielder Grealish suffered a minor knee injury and has returned to the Sky Bet Championship club and will be assessed by their medical team.
“He got a knock in training that we hope is not too serious. We wanted Aston Villa to have the opportunity to get him ready for their game at the weekend and we hope that it is not too bad,” Southgate said.