Ryan Giggs has heaped praise on Marcus Rashford‘s impressive performance during England’s 1-0 win over Slovenia on Thursday night.
The 19-year-old impressed for the Three Lions last month with an enterprising cameo against Malta before claiming a goal and assist during the 2-1 win over Slovakia.
And he was duly handed a place out wide by Gareth Southgate for the class with Slovenia and served as the only consistently potent attacking force in an otherwise languid display.
Speaking on ITV after the game, Giggs was quick to note that Rashford has all the abilities to become a truly top player over the next few years.
“His variety is very good,” he said. “He can give that simple pass which he gave to (Ryan) Bertrand.”
“If you’re a Slovenia fan you’d probably be saying ‘why don’t you get closer?’ If you get closer he can run in behind and that’s where he can really hurt you.
“So he’s really got everything and like you said the body positioning is really good. And he’s playing on the left, right-footed, so he can go either side which he’s shown a couple of times as well.”
The Welshman’s role in Rashford’s rise to prominence at Manchester United – and later with England – is often criminally understated.
While Louis van Gaal struggled to come up with a useful attacking dynamic, Giggs was busy keeping the teenager firmly on his feet and helping him through what was an unexpected dive into the deep end.
There is undoubtedly something Rashford has to his game that Giggs himself can identify with: a kind of looseness – freedom, if you will – on the ball mixed with raw speed and, crucially, an eye for where the goal is.
And you sense that the Englishman, whatever he does in his career, will never receive an education more valuable.