Gareth Southgate, who is filling in as England manager following the dismissal of Sam Allardyce, has spoken about his decision to include Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford in the England squad for the World Cup qualifying games against Malta and Slovenia.
We’d had the discussion already, a couple of weeks ago, around what we thought we thought was best [for Marcus] at this moment in time and I felt it was important to stick to that rationale.
I still think that we would hope that Marcus would go to the under-21 championships next summer because it would be great for his development – there’s obviously a long way to go until then but that, we feel, would be a good experience for him.
At this moment in time, we’re looking at these two games and he’s in good form. He’s scoring again for Manchester United and was outstanding in the under-21 game against Norway, so it’s good for him to be involved back with the seniors.
Rashford scored a hattrick for the U-21s then went on to score two goals in the two games that followed for United. However, while Rashford has played for the senior team before, Lingard has yet to make his debut for his country.
To get into that [Manchester United] side, with the money that’s been spent and the profile of the players that are there, shows you what he’s done.
He was outstanding for us in the European Championships two years ago, probably our best player, and he dealt with the pressure of that situation really well. He’s a player we like – he’s an intelligent footballer with good pace who plays into players’ feet and gets into pockets of space, and he’s a goal threat.
We think it’ll be good for him to be involved in this more senior group.