Marcus Rashford called into England Under-20s squad

The 18-year-old Manchester United striker has made an electric start to Old Trafford life

Marcus Rashford will not be fast-tracked into Roy Hodgson's squad as the Manchester United teenager will spend the international break with England's Under-20s.

The 18-year-old has rapidly gone from unknown to one of the country’s most feted young players after a remarkable start to life at Old Trafford.

Anthony Martial’s injury ahead of last month’s Europa League tie with FC Midtjylland saw Rashford thrown in at the deep end — an opportunity the striker capitalised on in style, netting twice as United won the do-or-die last-32 second leg 5-1.

As if that was not enough, Rashford followed that up by netting another double at Old Trafford as title hopefuls Arsenal were defeated 3-2.


The teenager has now started six successive United matches, leading to talk of a late place in the Euro 2016 squad — fuelled in part by England boss Hodgson refusing to rule the striker out of contention.

However, such talk is likely to be extinguished by Wednesday’s announcement that the teenager will be with the under-20s instead of the senior squad during the upcoming international break.

Rashford has been named in Keith Downing’s 20-man squad to face Canada in a friendly at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium on March 27th.

The striker has so far won two caps at both under-16 and 18 levels, and the decision not to rush the forward into the senior squad is likely to be welcomed at Old Trafford.

Manchester United's head of academy Nicky Butt this week expressed his belief that this is "well too soon" for Rashford to play for the England senior team, warning it could even hinder his progress.

“No, I think that’s well too soon for Marcus,” Butt told the BBC.

“I think that could backfire on everybody, really, and might not be the right thing for him.

“I wouldn’t tell an England manager what to do — it’s his job to pick whoever he thinks.

“But for me he is a young boy who is still learning the game, he has got a long way to go yet, so I think talk of England is well too soon for Marcus.

“He has phenomenal potential for England and for Man United, and I think (it is) too soon — it might do more damage than good.”

Ashley Fletcher, on loan from United at Barnsley, is also in the under-20s squad, while Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has been selected for the under-19s’ fixtures in Spain.

Ro-Shaun Williams, another graduate of the United academy, has been called-up by the under-18s, just days after being included in United’s squad for the first time in the FA Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21s squad will be announced on Thursday morning, followed by the senior team that will travel to Germany before hosting Holland at Wembley.