England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has warned his country that they must be patient regarding Manchester United's new wonderboy Marcus Rashford.
The 18-year-old has filled the back pages consistently in recent weeks, scoring twice on both his UEFA Europa League debut and Premier League debut against FC Midtjylland and Arsenal respectively. He scored his fifth goal in just his eighth game for the club in the Manchester derby last Sunday, winning it for United at the Etihad Stadium.
Rashford has started incredibly, but England must wait
There have been small shouts for him to be considered for this summer's European Championships in France, although most have quickly ridiculed the prospect. Instead of the senior side, Rashford was called up to the under-20 side, whom he could make his debut for on Sunday against Canada. Under-21 boss Southgate insisted that the senior side must wait to have this bright talent.
Southgate said that "the top talents in the world get into first teams young and establish themselves." Rashford has partly achieved this already, playing all eight of United's last matches and impressing. Southgate admitted that England "are very conscious" of the dangers of overhyping a young player like Rashford. Southgate said that "there can be fallout from that" and instead suggested that "the right thing is to move them back down" even if "that is always more difficult."
Southgate insists senior England call-up too soon for Rashford
Some players like Rashford's United teammate Wayne Rooney as well as former-Red Michael Owen made their way into the England set up in their teenage years, but both have seen the effect it can have with their careers dwindling down quicker than their counterparts. Southgate urged England to "assess his progress" because "there is no rush." He said, as quoted by Sky Sports, that Roy Hodgson currently "has a very settled squad" with a number of senior strikers available. According to Southgate, Rashford is "very level-headed" and so United and England don't "have concerns about his mentality, but of course, his world has changed dramatically in the last few weeks."