Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has attacked the decision to allow Marcus Rashford to miss the European Under-21 Championships this summer.
The Spaniard was speaking ahead of the start of the tournament in Poland, and is disappointed not to see the best possible talents for each nation selected.
Bellerin moved to slam the decision for Rashford to miss out on the competition due to his responsibilities in the senior side, citing the his country’s former Under-21 players David De Gea, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata as players who won the competition, before going onto World Cup glory with the senior side.
The right-back said: “If Marcus Rashford is ready for England then he should play.
“Sometimes taking it slowly, taking a player through the paces is the best way to keep him wanting more.”
He added: “You can see so many players who people think could be in the first team, like [Marco] Asensio at Real Madrid and Saul [Niguez], who has played more than a 100 games for Atletico.
“It’s a great approach because it humbles you. If you want to be in the first team you have to show how much you’re worth at Under-21 level. “In the first team there’s a lot of great players. What player are you taking out?
“People like Juan Mata, David de Gea and Ander Herrera have won this competition and know what it’s like. They’ve moved into the first team, winning the Euros and the World Cup.”
Bellerin’s comments are quoted from before England opened the tournament with a stalemate against Sweden, in which Jordan Pickford had to save a penalty to keep the scoreline level at 0-0.
The Spaniard’s team are favourites for the tournament, and looking at their squad list, you can see why.
Would Rashford have made the difference for England yesterday? Is the Under-21 tournament under-rated by England more than other nations?