FA to insist Marcus Rashford plays for the U21s next summer

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The secret behind England's continued failure at major tournaments has been something the FA have been trying to discover for nearly two decades.

Despite seemingly having the players capable of competing for honours on the international stage, fans of the Three Lions have repeatedly seen England fall short at almost every tournament during the last 20 years.

The FA's current chief executive, Martin Glenn believes a lack of mental strength was one of the reasons behind the summer's shock exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland and his plan to avoid a repeat embarrassment includes Marcus Rashford.

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Manchester United's young star was one of the stories of last season after making his senior debut in February.

Fast forward eight months and Rashford is a regular fixture for his club side while he has also accumulated five caps for England.

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But if he was expecting to put his feet up next summer, the 18-year-old might get a rude awakening as the FA have already insisted he participates in the European Under-21 Championship finals in June, according to The Times.

Rashford scored a hat-trick on his only appearance for the U21s last month and FA officials are keen to give the nation's hottest prospects tournament experience, even if they are already members of the senior team.

The Red Devils are unlikely to feel too comfortable letting the forward play for England's development side at the end of what is expected to be a very arduous campaign for Jose Mourinho's men.

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And some may even point to the example of Wayne Rooney as an argument against Rashford's inclusion.

Since bursting onto the scene over 12 years ago, England's leading scorer has rarely taken time away from the game during his career - one of the factors thought to be behind his current slump in form.

Arguably, there hasn't been so much enthusiasm about a young English talent since Rooney, so it is understandable why United would prefer to keep Rashford wrapped in cotton wool for as long as possible.

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But that in itself is the dilemma for English football. By throwing the nation's hottest prospects in every possible tournament, is there a chance it will have a negative impact on the players in the long-term?

And, will it be considered worth it if England end their drought at a major tournament as a result? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

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Wayne Rooney
England Football
Premier League
Marcus Rashford
Manchester United
Gareth Southgate

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