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Don’t take Sancho to the World Cup

Paul Merson thinks Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho shouldn’t go to the World Cup – but he wants their Manchester United and England teammate Marcus Rashford to be a regular starter.

Merson, the former Arsenal and Three Lions striker, wrote in his Sky Sports column that playing Harry Maguire would be a problem – unless he regains his place with United.

He said: “I think Marcus Rashford should be upset. If he wasn’t injured, I think he would have joined this team and I think he would be in the final 26-man World Cup squad if he had continued. What he is doing.

“It depends on what Evan Toni does in the two Nations League matches this month. I think the Brentford player has a chance or else there’s no point in being in the September squad.

People talk to me about Jadon Sancho, but he scored two goals in the Premier League and didn’t get assists. He doesn’t tear it down, and while he scored a good goal against Liverpool, he was in line with a lot of players in that position.”

Merson argued that centre-back Maguire might not be ready for it if he can’t reclaim his Premier League spot with United – writing because he “only plays Europa League football, how are you going to play it in Qatar?”

He added: “That’s the problem with Gareth (Southgate) – he’s very loyal.

“The reason he chose Maguire alongside Luke Shaw in this England squad is because they really need to play some games – and they will play against Italy and Germany.”

“I don’t see Shaw making it to the World Cup, though… especially given the number of defenders we have.”

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