It’s time for England to seriously consider Marcus Rashford

If you follow me on twitter (@pkwestelWFAN – and if you don’t, then you should) then you’re already aware I’m not shy when it comes to the hyperbole of Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford. Since he made his debut in the Europa League at the end of February not only have I encouraged exaggerating how good he is or what his expectation are, I’ve practically been the spearhead behind it.

But all jokes aside, after Rashford scored his seventh goal in just his 12th senior appearance this weekend against Aston Villa it’s time for England to have a serious conversation about taking Rashford with them to France this summer for Euro 2016. In fact it shouldn’t simply be a conversation, Rashford should be there.

The rise of Marcus Rashford has certainly been incredible. He was thrust into the starting XI after Anthony Martial picked up an injury warming up for the teams Europa League round of 32 second leg match against FC Midtjylland. At the time, Rashford was one of just two Manchester United academy players who didn’t have their own wikipedia page. Rashford picked up a brace that night, then three days later he did the same thing on his Premier League debut against Arsenal.

Four goals in two games caused England manager Roy Hodgson to say he was considering Rashford, as he should have. When a new player bursts onto the scene the international manager should be taking notice. That’s what happens when players score goals. Hell Andy Carroll scored a hat trick against Arsenal and now media members are seriously saying he should make the England squad despite the fact that it was one good game and we’ve seen what a disaster Andy Carroll on England could be.

The claim was also dismissed by pretty much everyone whether that was fans or the media. And it should be. Immediately calling Rashford up would have a been a big overreaction at a position where England already have plenty of depth.

Rashford was left off the England squad for their friendlies in late March but made his first appearance with England’s U20 side against Canada.

However, it’s not a rash decision anymore. As the goals keep coming Rashford deserves to be a part of the England squad this summer.

This isn’t just a Manchester United fan clamoring for the hometown kid to make the team. Since February 25th when Rashford made his debut he’s tied for the most club goals in all competitions with Sergio Aguero (after Aguero’s hat trick pulled him even with seven). Harry Kane has six goals in that time-frame while Jamie Vardy has three.

But what’s most impressive about Rashford’s seven goals is that he’s doing it within a system that doesn’t really allow for players to score goals. Louis van Gaal’s possession based system never puts the strikers into positions to score easy goals, their goals have to come from tremendous individual efforts, which Rashford has done on more than a few occasions. Seriously, United never give the ball to their strikers. Last week against Tottenham Rashford was subbed off at halftime simply because United never passed him the ball. When Ashley Young replaced him did anything change? Of course not because he didn’t get the ball either.

This isn’t a call for Rashford to be thrown into England’s starting XI. At this point he hasn’t been better than Harry Kane that he should be replacing him but he should certainly be in the squad.

Rashford’s best position is as a central striker but he can play out on the wing, which he did in his England U20 appearance. England have very good depth at the striker position with Kane, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, and maybe Wayne Rooney depending on where he plays.

That means if Rashford were to play it would be as a wide player, where he could easily replace the very overrated Danny Welbeck.

I’ve written before that England have a great starting XI that can compete with anyone in Europe but after those first 11 players the rest of their roster is very uninspiring. Would it really be an issue to give Rashford a taste of some major tournament experience at the expense of a player like Danny Welbeck, who’s been around for years, doesn’t bring any wow factor and still struggles to actually finish in front of goal?

Since Roy Hodgson loves Danny Welbeck it’s hard to see him not taking him to France. If that’s the case would it really be absurd to suggest that maybe Rashford should be picked ahead of Theo Walcott who has 43 caps and has scored a whopping eight goals for England (three of which came in one game, two more came against San Marino).

When it comes to the striker position in international football you have to forget the names and simply take the players that are scoring goals. That’s why at 35 years old Aritz Adruiz is just now starting to get called up for Spain, because he’s scoring goals. That’s why the young Bobby Wood and the old Clint Dempsey started the last two USMNT World Cup Qualifiers.

Right now, no one in England is scoring goals more than Marcus Rashford. He may not see that much time on the field in France this summer, but he should absolutely be there.

About Pauly Kwestel

Pauly is a Producer for WFAN in New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has been writing about the beautiful game since 2010 and can be followed on twitter @pkwestelWFAN