MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 07:37:50

Hector Bellerin questions Marcus Rashford's England Under-21 absence

Bellerin questions Rashford's absence
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Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin questions Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford's absence from the European Under-21 Championships this summer.

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has claimed that Marcus Rashford's absence from the European Under-21 Championships this summer means that the Manchester United forward will miss a key stage in his development.

Bellerin is currently with Spain Under-21s preparing for the tournament in Poland, but Rashford is very much a part of England's senior set-up, and the teenager was therefore not considered for the Under-21 Championships.

Bellerin is also a full international, however, and the right-back has said that featuring for for the Under-21s is an opportunity that should not be missed.

"It's not about age. 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," Bellerin told reporters.

"If you're there from the beginning, what else can you achieve? 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 U21 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."

England Under-21s open their tournament with a clash against holders Sweden on Friday afternoon.

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Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin in action during his side's Premier League clash with Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on September 24, 2016
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