Marcus Rashford is showing the attributes of a top player despite being only 20, claims Gareth Southgate

by Harry Robinson

Gareth Southgate has hailed Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford as a “top player”.

The England manager told reporters ahead of the Three Lions’ friendly game against Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday night that Rashford is already showing signs taht he’s one of the best, despite only turning 20 just before the international break.

Rashford has two goals in 14 games for England, but Southgate was quick to point out that the Man United forward has often been brought on as a substitute.

Commenting on the youngster’s England record, Southgate said, “a lot of those appearances have been off the bench.”

One of those goals was on Rashford’s debut, just minutes into his England career in a Euro 2016 warm-up game against Australia.

“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.”

Rashford is certainly one of the country’s brightest talents, and has never been fazed by the challenges he has so far faced. He’s scored on debuts – in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and for England – risen to the task in big games, scoring against Chelsea during Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s absence and in the Manchester derby, and consistently shows his flair.

Ryan Giggs recently commented that there is a buzz around Old Trafford when Rashford gets on the ball. That’s certainly true. Southgate echoed the sentiment, describing him as a “very exciting player.”

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