Roy Hodgson feel Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford deserves to be included in the provisional 26-man England squad for their Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Rashford was the surprise inclusion in Hodgson’s picks for this summer’s tournament, with the 18-year-old being included less than three months after his senior debut for the club against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.
Speaking after announcing his squad, Hodgson explained Rashford’s chances of making the final squad are still very slim.
“He’s one of the contenders, of course. The competition is quite strong,” he said.
“Rashford will understand that. He deserves to be selected in this larger squad.
“It will be interesting to see what he can do, it may only be for one week, but I am pleased that he has had such a good end to the season.
“It’s great to be able to include him. There’s no reason why he can’t knock someone off their perch, but it will be harder than some people might expect.”
It’s an exceptional achievement for Rashford and I’m sure he’ll be ecstatic but as Hodgson points out he faces tough competition to be included in the final squad and will need to prove himself in the friendlies against Turkey, Australia and Portugal before the tournament.
While uncapped Rashford would seem to be an obvious candidate to be dropped before the final squad is announced, there is potential for him to make the cut should he impress Hodgson like he has done with Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.
Even if he doesn’t make the squad for Euro 2016, it’ll be a great experience for him to have been named in this 26-man squad and there’s no doubt he’ll be looking forward to meeting up with the team and showing everyone what he’s capable of.