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Roy Hodgson Talks Marcus Rashford's Chances of Making England's Euro 2016 Squad

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, runs to celebrate with teammates after scoring his sides second goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press
Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2016

England manager Roy Hodgson has refused to rule out Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford from his final squad plans for UEFA Euro 2016.

The national boss commented on the England under-18 international after his explosive start to life in the Red Devils' senior XI, per BBC Sport:

I would neither rule him in or rule him out, I just hope he can do well.

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.

Scoring four goals in three games is a great achievement. If he can keep that up, it is great for Manchester United and England.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Rashford had been drafted into United's first team by manager Louis van Gaal after a glut of injuries robbed the Dutchman of his senior strikers.

Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail reported Wayne Rooney has been given time off to recover from a knee ligament injury, further offering the 18-year-old a chance to impress and maintain his status as a starter. 

The Wythenshawe-born teenager partnered Anthony Martial in United's recent 1-0 win against Watford in the Premier League, sending the Old Trafford giants level with Manchester City on points as they scrap for a top-four finish.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United runs for the ball with Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on February 28, 2016 in Manchester,
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Despite Rashford's impressive showing, former England striker Robbie Fowler has described the potential of an immediate full international call-up as "ridiculous."

The Liverpool icon told the New Day (h/t Aaron Flanagan of the Mirror) he is impressed by the youngster but dismissed a potential place in England's summer squad:

I’m a bit ‘blimey’ on the Manchester United teen, even after he scored doubles in his first two games in the senior side.

His record through the age groups is fantastic, and he’s done brilliantly.

But calls for him to go to France in June are ridiculous.

I know what it’s like to be a teenager in the top flight and I just hope he’s allowed to develop and keeps scoring goalshe’s got a bit about him.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24:  Marcus Rashford of Manchester United (39) warms up alongside team mates during a Manchester United training session ahead of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match against FC Midtjylland at the Aon Traini
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Rashford's leap from obscurity will not surprise United fans who follow their youth setup, but it seems far too early to place the hopes of the country on his burgeoning shoulders.

The striker has all the elements to be a success in the Premier League, with a deadly finish and blistering pace, but he will need time to develop into a more rounded talent.

Despite scoring four goals in only 260 minutes of football, according to WhoScored.com, the player's consistency cannot be judged at this stage due to his vast inexperience. 

However, there have been shocks in the past with England's selection of youth players for major championships, after Theo Walcott was selected for the 2006 World Cup at 17, without featuring for Arsenal's starting XI in a competitive match, per BBC Sport.

Rashford could follow in Walcott's footsteps and become Hodgson's trump card in France.

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