Marcus Rashford has suggested that he should have skipped this summer’s European Championship, with the Manchester United man set to be out until October.
Despite netting an impressive 21 goals in all competitions last term, the 23-year-old’s displays were no doubt hampered by injury, particularly during the latter part of the campaign.
With shoulder and ankle problems taking their toll, as well as a hefty workload, the England international struggled for form in the closing months of the season, notably producing a limp performance in United’s disappointing Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.
While the forward appeared in need of a rest, he opted to extend his season after being called up for Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020, his third major tournament inclusion since breaking onto the scene in 2016.
Although the Red Devils academy graduate has been a key man under the Three Lions boss in recent years, he struggled for game time throughout the tournament amid a plethora of attacking competition, going on to make just a handful of substitute appearances and missing a spot-kick in the showpiece shootout loss to Italy.
Following a disappointing tournament on a personal note, Rashford has now admitted that he perhaps wouldn’t have gone had he known ‘he wouldn’t have played a significant role’, as he looks set for a 12 week spell on the sideline due to imminent surgery on his problem shoulder.
“When I was 11 years old Manchester United helped me and my family out of a really difficult situation,” he wrote on his Instagram. “I will always feel indebted. When the club needs me, I’ll be there. Any role I can play in helping my boyhood club I’m going to do it. Even to my detriment at times.
“Having been out of the game recovering from the double stress fracture, and having spent a lot of time away from teammates and staff who’d been a part of my life for as long as I could remember, I needed to feel a part of something again. I needed to feel like I was playing my part.
“I’ve read some call me selfish for holding off getting the surgery this season but it was never about putting myself first and that’s how we’ve reached this point, and something as a 23-year-old I’ve had to learn the hard way. To guarantee I can play this game as long as possible I need to listen to my body. Everyone has an opinion but no one knows my body better than me.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling of representing your country. Given the choice, no one would ever turn that down at such a big tournament. As a little boy or girl you dream of those moments. I had been deemed fit for the full season, and given my injuries were being managed, what was another couple of weeks? Managing the pain I was training well and found a lot of comfort in the England camp after the Europa League final.
“On hindsight, if I had known I wouldn’t have played a significant role in the Euros, would I have gone? Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it…
“I didn’t want to let anyone down but ultimately looking at some of my performances towards the end of last season I felt like I was. When I step on the pitch I always give 100%. Physically my 100% just wasn’t possible.
“I’m walking away from last season with 36 goal contributions, but more importantly, I’m walking away with lessons learnt. We live and we learn as they say but what is never in doubt is my commitment to the club and the national team. It’s been a hard one but I’m coming back physically and mentally stronger. Thank you for all of the kind messages.”
Manchester United kick off their Premier League campaign at home to Leeds United on 14 August, with Rashford not set to return to action until late October.