England U21 head coach Gareth Southgate has revealed his belief that Marcus Rashford shouldn’t get a call up to the senior side just yet.
The 18-year-old has scored five goals in eight appearances for United since being promoted to the senior side by Louis van Gaal, which in turn has raised excitement and expectations.
While he has been selected for the England U20s squad and is in line to make his debut on Sunday against Canada, Southgate wants to see the youngster goes through the different age levels and reach the senior squad when, or if, he is ready, rather than go up now and be forced to come back down.
“We are very conscious that when you promote a young player too quickly there can be fallout from that and at times the right thing is to move them back down and that is always more difficult,” said Southgate, as reported by Sky Sports.
“Life is very different for someone like Marcus, who has just scored the winner in a Manchester derby. At club level, at some point he might find himself in their U21 side and that is a difficult process for a young person to deal with, so we don’t want to add to that internationally.
“Let’s assess his progress. There is no rush. Roy [Hodgson] has a very settled squad and is very strong in that area of the pitch. Everyone I speak to at United says he’s very level-headed, so they don’t have concerns about his mentality, but of course his world has changed dramatically in the last few weeks.”
Rashford’s impact has certainly been a welcome boost for Van Gaal in recent weeks, and the Dutchman’s ability to develop his talent has been praised in a season where he has faced plenty of criticism and scrutiny.
However, Southgate has a valid point in that the last thing that either United or England want is to speed up his process in getting to the senior side too quickly, and risk demoralising him if things don’t work out and he is forced to drop back down.
Rashford is evidently talented, seemingly has the right approach and is certainly a starlet to look out for in the future. With England boasting the likes of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck who have all been in form this year, Rashford should be allowed to continue his development without too much pressure.