Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford make Gareth Southgate’s 23 man World Cup squad

by Leo Nieboer

Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have all been included in Gareth Southgate’s 23 man squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer.

Chris Smalling, whose last England appearance came almost a year ago, has missed out after falling out of favour under Southgate.

Lingard and Rashford have always been part of Southgate’s plans, while Young has forced his way back into the England side for the first time since 2013.

Jones was included in the last World Cup squad back in 2014, but this will be the first finals for the aforementioned trio.

Even if you struggle to get passionate about the England national team, the sight of two homegrown players have working their way from obscurity just a couple of years ago to the pinnacle of the beautiful game is something every United fan can enjoy.

England will, at best, get knocked out by Colombia in the second round of the competition, but for Lingard and Rashford that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. To go to the World Cup in itself, to feel the grandeur of the event and step out onto that stage, will only help them continue to develop as both players and individuals.

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