Gareth Southgate has selected a 30-man England squad but Mason Greenwood has not been included.
Greenwood and Phil Foden were sent home early from England’s previous camp for an off-field indiscretion and their punishment is apparently still ongoing.
The Three Lions will face Wales, Belgium and Denmark without the promising pair, in a decision United legend Paul Scholes took to Instagram to criticise.
On Greenwood and Foden, Southgate said: “They know that what they did wasn’t acceptable,” as per the Telegraph.
“We needed that message to go out to all players who are involved with England at every age group.”
A big part of being a manager is balancing strict discipline with backing your players as well as not cutting your nose off to spite your face.
Whatever Scholes thinks of the decision, there’s no doubt it benefits United.
Greenwood enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019/20, but did not get much time to rest afterwards.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already said he tried to get Greenwood out of that Three Lions squad because he needed a rest before the start of the season.
On top of that, he has faced intense scrutiny off the field in recent weeks, which is tough for any young player to endure.
He would have been in the limelight once again on England duty.
Greenwood could use an opportunity to recharge, topping up his fitness, ready to go at full tilt after the international break.
United have some huge fixtures after the international break that Solskjaer needs Greenwood to be fighting it for.
That’s especially vital if United haven’t signed a new right winger before the deadline on Monday Night.
Newcastle are first up in October, but then United host Chelsea and Arsenal on consecutive weekends, looking to land early blows on top four rivals.
In between, United’s Champions League campaign gets under way and a flying start is essential in a group containing two of last season’s semi-finalists, PSG and RB Leipzig.
By then, Greenwood will hope to be at full speed, with his England controversy a distant memory and back amongst the goals.
United need him firing too for that crucial autumn period which will shape the mood around the club.
Southgate’s decision undoubtedly inadvertently helps Solskjaer.
Mason Greenwood’s career so far
- 17 first team goals in his debut season
Greenwood tied a record set by George Best and Wayne Rooney on their first campaigns for the club.
- Five Europa League goals in his first season
Greenwood’s goals in the Europa League saw him become the club’s youngest ever scorer in European competition.
- 10 Premier League goals
Greenwood became the first teenager since 1997/98 to score 10 Premier League goals or more in a season.
- Absolutely prolific at youth level
Greenwood scored 31 goals in 30 under-18 games, plus five in five UEFA Youth League matches. He scored three in three FA Youth Cup games, and four in seven under-23 matches, before being fast-tracked to the first team.
- Already a Champions League scorer
Greenwood scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United against RB Leipzig. It came with his first ever shot in the competition.
- The 20 goal mark
Greenwood scored his 20th United goal in December 2020. He became the youngest United player to do so since Norman Whiteside in 1987.
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