Gareth Southgate says Marcus Rashford is going to the very top, the England manager ranking the Manchester United striker among the best he has worked with.
It is 20 months since the teenager was thrust into the spotlight in Manchester United’s Europa League clash with FC Midtjylland.
Rashford has not looked back since netting a debut double, going on to win the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League as well as becoming a key part of the national team set-up.
Fast-tracked into the Euro 2016 squad, the 20-year-old is set to pit his wits against Brazil on Tuesday as Southgate continues to tinker with his young, injury-hit side ahead of the World Cup.
“A lot of those appearances have been off the bench,” the England boss said of the striker who has scored twice in 14 caps.
“It’s amazing really that he’s been a player who’s been able to dip under the radar as we think so much of him, not only his ability, but his mentality and his maturity.
“He’s a very exciting player, but very grounded, wants to improve all the time.
“For me he’s going to be a top player. He has all the attributes of the top players I’ve worked with, but he’s still only 20.
“Jose (Mourinho) wouldn’t mess around, but he picks him in all the big games and is on the field in nearly every game. Roy (Hodgson) saw the same things.
“We wanted to look after him last summer as we see him as a big part of our future. He’ll score goals definitely. His technique and his finishing ability are tremendous.
“Quite often we look across at each other in training and raise our eyebrows at some of the things he does. He’s a very exciting player.”