Marcus Rashford is the name on everyone’s lips today following his winning goal in the Manchester derby on Sunday.
The Man United striker became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the fixture to further enhance his burgeoning reputation.
Speculation linking Rashford with a shock England call-up is now intensifying but former Arsenal striker - and current BT Sport pundit - Ian Wright is concerned about what might happen if people don’t allow the teenager to develop at a steady pace.
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“I think that Marcus Rashford, playing for Manchester United, and to get in their first-team and make the impact he has done. That is world news simply because of his age,” Wright was quoted as telling The Sun.
“But we’ve got enough forwards at the moment. Let Marcus Rashford develop.
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“He is already at a big club and he seems to be able to deal with the pressure. But we should let him develop, let him deal with the pressures of England at his age group. Then, when the time is right, he can come into the squad.
“I really hope that people don’t start talking him up for getting into the squad.
“Even if people get injured, we should learn from the past.”
Wright believes Walcott was rushed
Wright believes Rashford would be in danger of following in the footsteps of Theo Walcott if he is included in the England squad for this summer’s European Championships in France.
Walcott was handed a shock call-up to the 2006 World Cup squad by the then-manager Sven-Goran Eriksson but didn’t kick a ball for the Three Lions in Germany.
Ten years later and while the 27-year-old has enjoyed a decent career with Arsenal, he’s struggled to become a key player for his country.
Walcott has scored eight goals in 42 appearances for England and three of those came against Croatia in a World Cup qualifier back in September 2008.
“Theo missed out on Under-17s, U19s, U21s football,” Wright added.
“He was sat on the bench in the World Cup and from that day to this we still haven’t got anything out of Theo except the hat-trick in Croatia.
“I feel for him as he should have learned a lot of football in that time but he didn’t get the opportunity to do it.”
England have plenty of options upfront
In his first eight appearances, Rashford has scored five goals and his unexpected rise to prominence can’t be ignored.
But as Wright alludes to, England boss Roy Hodgson already has a decent batch of in-form strikers to choose from without needing to rush Rashford.
Harry Kane is the Premier League’s top goalscorer with 21 goals this term, followed by Jamie Vardy on 19.
England captain Wayne Rooney will be on the plane to France as will, if he can remain fit, Daniel Sturridge.
Assuming Danny Welbeck also continues scoring goals between now and May, he is also likely to be in Hodgson’s final squad.
And then there are those on the fringes, like Jermaine Defoe (12 Premier League goals this season) and the fit-again Andy Carroll.
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