Football: Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford drops down to England Under-21s

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has been called up for the Under-21s for the first time.
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has been called up for the Under-21s for the first time.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has lost his place in England's senior squad after being called up for the Under-21s for the first time.

Rashford made two substitute appearances at Euro 2016 to cap a meteoric rise in the final weeks of the campaign that took him from United's youth teams to international recognition.

But the 18-year-old has lost his place at United this season following manager Jose Mourinho's arrival and his subsequent signing of Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

New England manager Sam Allardyce has decided Rashford's lack of playing time makes it impossible to select him for his first fixture - a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Slovakia on September 4.

Rashford, who scored eight times in 18 games for United last term, became the youngest player to net on his full England debut when he struck against Australia in May and then national team boss Roy Hodgson rewarded him with a place at the Euros.

But instead of lining up alongside Wayne Rooney and company in Slovakia, Rashford will join up with Gareth Southgate's squad to face Norway next month for their Euro 2017 qualifier in Colchester.

"Last season, his pathway was remarkable and we're very conscious of plotting how we develop our young players," Southgate said. "We spoke a lot with Manchester United last season when we put him in the under-20s in March, which both they and ourselves felt was the right thing at the time.

"He then continued his progress, which was great, and of course he played a part in Roy's squad at the Euros.

"But if he's less likely to start with the seniors at this moment in time, and Sam (Allardyce) is quite keen that people are playing regularly, we think that it's now a good opportunity in his international development for him to be with the under-21s.

"Marcus has a good mentality, so I know he'll respond in the right way and we're looking forward to working with him."