Southgate: Lack of game time for England's key players is 'not ideal'

Gareth Southgate says a lack of game time for England’s key players is ‘not ideal’… as Harry Maguire, Kalvin Phillips and Luke Shaw see their club opportunities reduced in the build-up to the World Cup

  • Gareth Southgate hopes some of his key players can win their club places back
  • Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw have been dropped at Manchester United
  • Meanwhile, midfielder Kalvin Phillips is yet to break into Manchester City’s team
  • Southgate confirmed that United forward Marcus Rashford is back on his radar
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

Gareth Southgate fears the lack of first-team football a number of his key players are receiving is jeopardising England’s World Cup dream.

Harry Maguire, Kalvin Phillips and Luke Shaw have all been reduced to peripheral roles at their clubs, raising concern for Southgate heading into the tournament.

All three played crucial roles in England’s run to the European Championship final last year — but their positions in Southgate’s plans are under scrutiny due to a lack of action at club level.

Gareth Southgate fears some of England’s key players are not getting enough club minutes

Harry Maguire has lost his place in Manchester United’s starting XI under Erik ten Hag

And Southgate admitted: ‘It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.’

Southgate, who handed Ivan Toney his first call-up and recalled Eric Dier, has also confirmed that Marcus Rashford is back on his radar after dropping the Manchester United forward from his previous two squads.

As reported by Sportsmail on Thursday, England medics were making late checks on Rashford’s fitness up until the squad announcement due to a muscular problem sustained earlier this month but he was not selected.

Elsewhere, Conor Gallagher has been left out of the 28-man squad. Ben White and James Justin are also absentees from the previous squad, while Dean Henderson is recalled to replace the injured goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Marcus Rashford is back on Southgate’s radar after being dropped from the last two squads

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