Manchester United’s woeful season on the pitch has collateral damage at international level too. Poor club form has weakened the position of several stars ahead of this year World Cup.
While there are some players who are guaranteed selections for their country no matter what, like Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, others are not so fortunate.
A handful of United’s players are left sweating on whether they will get a call up for Qatar 2022. As it stands, they are at risk of missing the World Cup and need a drastic turnaround in fortunes before November.
Here is a look at seven Red Devils players who could face snubs for the tournament…
David de Gea
David de Gea was left out of Spain’s squad in March, Manchester United stars at risk of missing World Cup as cost of terrible season takes toll
Spain’s squad has just been announced for the June internationals, and once again, there is no David de Gea, The MEN report.
He may currently be Manchester United’s number one, but right now he is not even Spain’s number three.
Even if De Gea does sneak into Spain’s squad for the tournament, it is only likely to be as a back-up, with manager Luis Enrique clearly not a fan.
Marcus Rashford looked utterly broken by the end of the season, with his form nosediving to the point where he was regularly the worst player on the pitch.
Rashford needs a total reset, and his future at the club is unclear. He was left out of England’s recent squad in March and won’t make the summer internationals.
He needs to focus on rescuing his Manchester United career first, and if he can do so, an England call should come. But it is fair to say his World Cup place is at risk.
Jadon Sancho has never been a regular starter for England under Gareth Southgate and was controversially left out of the Three Lions squad in March despite being in good form for Manchester United.
Illness curtailed his end to the season and he is unlikely to make the international squad in June. If he does, it will offer no guarantees.
Sancho should go to the World Cup, England needs player with his talent, and Erik ten Hag will push him to get there.
If Sancho can buy into Ten Hag’s methods and become a key star for United early next season, then he has a chance to reclaim his England place.
Lingard’s England hopes are not so much fading, but on life-support. He did not make the final Euro 2020 squad last summer, and a disastrous 12 months has followed.
Lingard started only two Premier League games all season, and is set to be released by Manchester United at the end of next month.
He needs to hit the ground running for his new club next season, and even then, it may not be enough for him. One way or another, he won’t be United’s problem for much longer.
Dean Henderson is another who has barely played this season, removing him from Gareth Southgate’s England thoughts.
It is likely Henderson moves this summer, either on loan or permanently, and this could give him a chance to get back into England reckoning.
The goalkeeper spots behind Jordan Pickford are still up for grabs, so a strong start to next season somewhere could see Henderson make a late claim, but there is no room for error.
This season has left him much further behind than he hoped, and only the World Cup’s later schedule than usual gives him a chance of going.
Anthony Martial has not had much luck with France and major tournaments. Previously snubbed by Didier Deschamps, he was on course to be selected for Euro 2020, before suffering an injury.
Martial was recalled into France’s squads in September and October, before being omitted in November. He was then left out in March again.
He has scored only two goals all season for United and Sevilla, and struggled with injuries in Spain.
Like Lingard and Henderson, Martial will hope that a new club next season will invigorate his chances, but France’s squad is strong, and the damage may have already been done.
Donny van de Beek
Louis van Gaal has not selected Donny van de Beek in any of his Netherlands squads all season, whereas previously, he was a regular.
Van de Beek hopes Erik ten Hag will give him a new lease of life at Manchester United, and he was mentioned in the new boss’ opening press conference.
He is still at risk of missing the World Cup, but if Van de Beek can get to play a regular role for United in the first part of the season, it may be enough to win back his place.
Qatar World Cup 2022 Key Dates
- Premier League break
Club football will pause after the weekend of November 12-13. As many as 16 league games will have been played, with the season kicking off on August 6.
- Opening game
The opening game of the 2022 World Cup will take place on Monday November 21.
- The final
The 2022 World Cup final will be played on Sunday December 18.
- Premier League resumes
The Premier League resumes on Boxing Day, December 26th, with the season finishing on May 28.