In a matter of months, Marcus Rashford has meteorically risen from being an unknown prospect to a budding star.
As a late bloomer in Manchester United’s campaign, the 18-year-old Rashford showcased his skill by scoring twice in his debut. Soon after, he played his way into a starting role.
Altogether, Rashford scored eight goals in 18 appearances for United. Yet despite his impressive run, he doesn’t necessarily warrant to a spot on England’s final squad for the EUROs. His selection hinges on two factors: his performance in remaining friendlies and Daniel Sturridge’s health.
The reality is England already have four high quality strikers in Sturridge, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Wayne Rooney. Kane and Vardy were the top two scorers in the Premier League this season, and Sturridge finished second in goals in the 2013/14 season. Rooney is no longer the deadly scoring threat he once was, but he distributes as well as anyone on England’s roster.
However, a recurring calf injury has hampered Sturridge, enough so that his availability for the EUROs is now in question.
The Liverpool striker’s playing potential may be the ultimate factor in determining whether Rashford will make the roster. Sturridge’s status for England’s friendly against Australia is unclear.
If he can’t play, and Rashford fares well, the 18-year old sensation could secure a position, especially if manager Roy Hodgson has reservations about awarding a spot to an unfit Sturridge. One more superb performance from the young striker may leave Hodgson no choice.