England manager Roy Hodgson is keen not to pile the pressure on 18-year-old Manchester United livewire Marcus Rashford, but admitted he would consider taking him to the European Championships in June.
Rashford has made a huge impact at Old Trafford since making his debut a week ago in United’s Europa League round-of-32 second leg against Midtjylland when he scored two goals, following it up with another two in his next start against Arsenal on Sunday.
But Hodgson said he has known of Rashford for some time and should his form at United continue, the teenager might yet earn a spot in England’s Euro 2016 squad.
“I would neither rule him in or rule him out, I just hope he can do well,” Hodgson said.
“I have been watching Rashford for two years, so I have known about him for a long time. He is in our system.
“Most of all, I hope he is allowed to develop as an 18-year-old should and people don’t try to put him under enormous pressure,” he said.
“Scoring four goals in three games is a great achievement and if he can keep that up, it is great for Manchester United and England.”
England might need the extra striking option too, with England and United captain Wayne Rooney under an injury cloud for the Euros after injuring his knee.
But Hodgson reassured the skipper that he would captain England should he prove his fitness.
“He has got to come back before the end of the season, there is no doubt about that,” said Hodgson.
“But as I said, form is transient. His qualities, and the fact he is captain of England, is not transient. That is a given.
“There is no way I should be looking to dismiss a Wayne Rooney who is fit and playing football on the basis he is out of form, because he is our captain.
“What he has got to try and do is get fit so I can pick him and then show enough form when he is with us to demand a place in the team – that is what Wayne fully understands.
“All his life he has had to do that. Wayne Rooney, for me, is someone I’m really counting on going to the Euros and I’m fully expecting him to be fit for it.”