Danny Murphy: Marcus Rashford has what it takes to become an England legend

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes that Marcus Rashford has what it takes to become an England legend in the future.

The youngster was called up to the England squad by Roy Hodgson back in May 2016 following a groundbreaking few months under Louis van Gaal.

He then went on to score just three minutes into his debut against Australia and, in turn, received a place on the plane to France ahead of Euro 2016.

And Murphy, speaking ahead of England’s clash with Germany on Wednesday night, noted that Rashford has what it takes to establish himself as a legend for the national side.

“I really hope he makes the right decision because he has all the tools you need to make his mark at international level,” he said.

“He has a calmness on the pitch that you don’t normally see in 19-year-olds. It is unusual for players of that age to spot the passes that he spots. Usually, self-belief increases as you play more games and achieve more. But some players have it straight away and Rashford seems to be one.

“[Michael] Owen and Robbie Fowler were the same, as is [Harry] Kane. Whoever the opposition, they don’t care. They are confident in what they can do and in their ability to deliver.

“If England are going to play with a single centre-forward in the coming years, Rashford can mount a serious challenge to Kane for the role.”

The main kryptonite for any England player – at least in my lifetime – has always manifested itself in the form of a psychological impasse at moments that demand calm, collected heads.

A potent example: England 1-2 Iceland.

Take your minds back to that humiliating – or perhaps hilarious if you’re lucky enough to not follow the England football team – day and remember the body language of Hodgson’s men. Every single action was underpinned by fear – a fear of losing the ball, of not doing exactly the right thing, of the national outcry that was soon to follow. They were frozen in their own mental traps.

The only exception, of course, was Rashford, thrown in with five minutes left and immediately England’s most dynamic, fearless influence. His approach was simple: throw everything at the opposition until the bitter end.

Make no mistake: a truly fruitful England career awaits the youngster if he does manage to maintain this mindset over the coming years.

You may also like