Man United hotshot tipped for call-up – what will he add to England’s midfield?

According to reports from The Independent and The Express, Manchester United youngsters Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard could both be included in Sam Allardyce’s next England squad.

What’s the word?

According to The Times journalist Henry Winter, ‘Big Sam’ will announce his next Three Lions squad on Sunday after the final Premier League fixture of the weekend.

And whilst The Express focus on Marcus Rashford getting a recall – a logical assumption that combines his formidable scoring form with Harry Kane’s injury layoff – The Independent claim United team-mate Jesse Lingard is in contention to make the squad as well.

Is Lingard ready for international football?

Admittedly, Lingard’s development has been spasmodic due to a host of injury problems and he’s still some way off being the finished article.

That being said, Louis van Gaal called upon the youngster during his first and last competitive fixtures in charge of Manchester United and Jose Mourinho gave him the nod during the Red Devils’ two highest-profile fixtures of the season so far – the Community Shield final and the Manchester Derby.

He’s clearly highly-rated by those in powerful places and has represented England 14 times at youth level – in fact, he was the Junior Lions’ best player at the 2015 U-21 European Championships, scoring an absolute stunner against Sweden.

What would he bring to the England team?

Although a starting berth seems unlikely – even against relatively modest opposition in Malta and Slovenia – the Three Lions are a little short when it comes to wide players, with Raheem Sterling, Michail Antonio and Theo Walcott the only natural options in Allardyce’s last squad.

Lingard isn’t a winger in the most traditional sense; some of his better performances for United have come in more of a central attacking role and he lacks that habitual burst of speed. But he can fill that position on either flank and is a phenomenally hard worker, something Allardyce of all managers will surely appreciate.

Here’s how he stacks up against Allardyce’s aforementioned wide options, courtesy of Squawka.

lingard-compared

He’s also developed a knack for scoring incredible goals in important games, something that certainly panders to the international stage. Take this effort in the 2016 FA Cup final…

Or this superb solo goal against Leicester City in the Community Shield: