England boss Gareth Southgate has labelled Marcus Rashford as a 'top player' already ahead of the Three Lions friendly encounter with Brazil.
Rashford's England Emergence
The now 20-year-old was propelled into professional football by Louis van Gaal less than two years ago, and he immediately repaid his managers faith with a brace against FC Midtjylland during the 2015/16 campaign. Rashford followed up on his Europa League heroics by grabbing debut goals on his Premier League, England, England U21, EFL Cup and Champions League bow. As well as this, Manchester United's number 19 holds three titles to his honours list in the form of an FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League.
Rashford's quick emergence into the global game led to Roy Hodgson selecting him as part of England's squad for Euro 2016, where he became the youngest English player to feature in this competition, and Gareth Southgate has also regularly used the forward, who has scored twice in 14 appearances.
Southgate was keen to express his admiration of Rashford, speaking highly of the young forward when facing the media ahead of England's friendly fixture against Brazil at Wembley.
"It's amazing really that he's been a player who's been able to dip under the radar as we think so much of him, not only his ability but his mentality and his maturity," stated Southgate.
"He's a very exciting player, but very grounded wants to improve all the time. 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."
Following this praise, it may suggest that Southgate firmly believes in Rashford to contribute significantly ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"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's role for England
Like José Mourinho at Manchester United, the England staff often deploy Rashford on the left of three attackers behind the main striker. Although he may prefer a central striker role, Rashford performs admirably for England from a wide area. Even though he has only collected two senior goals, Rashford has frequently provided a spark of skill to lighten up England's matches. His form at this early age makes him the obvious candidate for the left-sided winger, a spot he is sure to cement as his own in the England set up for the foreseeable future.