Gareth Southgate has explained why Mason Greenwood has been left out of the England and England Under-21 squads for the upcoming international break, saying that he does not want to overburden the player.
Greenwood has made a flying start to the season, scoring in each of United’s opening two Premier League games. He is picking up where he left off last campaign, where he managed six goals in his final eight league games.
With Greenwood in such brilliant form he was expected to be called upon by Southgate for the upcoming September internationals. However, he was overlooked when the squad was announced on Thursday and a day later he was also absent from the Under-21s.
Southgate explained his surprise omission in a press conference, insisting that the forward remains in his plans for the future.
“He is in our thoughts, very much," he said, as quoted by the Mirror. "I spoke with him and his club.
"He’s a player we really like and he’s got every possibility to be a top England player. We’re all conscious we make that progression at right time.
"He’s just breaking into the team at United with lot of responsibility and we want to get our progression with our seniors so we get the best possible player at the end. We’re all aligned with that, Mason the club, his family. We decided it’s best he stays with his club."
England have three World Cup qualifiers next week, starting with a trip to Hungary on Thursday. This is followed by a visit from lowly Andorra on Sunday 5 September before they travel to Poland for the toughest test of the three.
Meanwhile, Greenwood should start as United take on Wolves at Molineux on Sunday. He was used as a centre-forward in his side’s Premier League opener against Leeds before being shifted to the right for the Southampton game on Sunday.