Paul Parker: Marcus Rashford Should Be A Sub At Best For England At Euro 2024

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Paul Parker: Marcus Rashford Should Be A Sub At Best For England At Euro 2024
© PA sat down with former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker as Euro 2024 gets ever closer.

The best betting sites have England down as favourites to lift the trophy in Germany this summer, but there are several squad issues to resolve before the big kick-off in June.

The likes of Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are guaranteed starters when fit, but other spots in the team are still up for grabs.

There could be a wildcard or two in the 23-man squad and the various contenders will be keen to finish the season strongly in a bid to impress Gareth Southgate and his staff.

One player in particular need of an upturn in form is Marcus Rashford, who has struggled to get going throughout 2023/24.

And, Parker, who made 19 appearances for England between 1989 and 1994, believes it would be “absolutely ridiculous” for the Manchester United forward to be named in the England XI given his recent form.

“At best, he (Rashford) could be a sub,” the former right-back said. “He hasn’t got a right to start a game of football for his country. It would be absolutely ridiculous if it was to happen.

“You can’t pick someone who is not right at the tournament, who is nowhere near right. At the moment, he’s very fortunate he’s playing for his club.”

Rashford scored 30 goals in all competitions last term - the most productive season of his career to date.

But his 31 appearances so far this campaign have yielded just five goals, while off-field issues have also been an unwanted distraction.

For example, Rashford was fined two weeks’ wages in January for partying in Belfast before calling in sick for training.

With strong competition for places in attacking areas, Parker believes Rashford is not even guaranteed a place in the squad for the Euros.

“He shouldn't be starting for his country at the moment,” he continued. “Especially given the players that are around, he should be worried if he’s going to make the squad. 

“Because I certainly would be if my game had gone to pot, and I was giving away own goals, and getting myself booked because I mistimed challenges. And going forward I wasn’t crossing the ball - I would be worried.”

After finishing as runners-up at Euro 2020, England will be gunning for glory this summer.

And Parker believes the Three Lions deserve their status as pre-tournament favourites on betting apps due to other contenders not being as strong as they were once were.

“Given how Europe is quite weak now, there has to be a good chance (that England can win it),” he said. 

“Many, many years ago, the hardest tournament to win was the Euros. Because all of the best teams, or the majority of them, came from Europe.

“But we’re seeing now that the major countries are quite weak. The Spanish are quite young at the moment, and quite inconsistent in certain ways. The Italians are struggling. 

“The Germans as we know are having a horrendous time, their game has gone backwards at the moment. Defensively they’re poor, they’ve lost their way. This is England’s best chance of winning a tournament."

England will begin their European Championship campaign with a Group C game against Serbia on June 16.

They will then face Denmark four days later, before concluding the group stage against Slovenia on June 25.

England are seeking to both win the Euros and a major tournament overseas for the first time in their history, and are 7/2 on football betting sites to do so.

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Greg Lea

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