Roy Hodgson was delighted to see striker Marcus Rashford mark his England debut with a goal but stopped short of rubber-stamping the 18-year-old’s place at Euro 2016.
Rashford continued his compelling rise to prominence in Sunderland, volleying home after a neat move involving Raheem Sterling after just two minutes and 18 seconds of the 2-1 win over Australia.
In that moment the Manchester United rookie looked to the manor born, celebrating calmly and seeming less surprised than his team-mates that he had just become the youngest England debutant to find the net.
The true shock now would be if he was one of the two squad members cut by Hodgson before UEFA’s Tuesday deadline, particularly with Daniel Sturridge sidelined again by a calf injury.
Hodgson’s words suggested he has found a talent he is keen to see more of but he offered no promises ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA deadline.
“What a debut. I’m pleased for him,” he said.
“The subject of Marcus Rashford, I guess, will chop a few trees down tomorrow. I thought he did well.
“But I wasn’t surprised with the way he played. He was always one of the players who was seriously competing for a place in the 23 and he’s done his chances of travelling with us no harm.
“But nothing changes in that respect because we wouldn’t have him with us in the 26 if we didn’t think he was a serious contender for the 23.
“Let’s wait and see…I’ve got until Tuesday to name my squad but he wouldn’t be out of place in anyone’s 23.”
Hodgson added on BBC Radio Five Live:
“I’m delighted for Marcus and delighted that he’s received such praise. I’m also delighted that my decision to thrust him into the side was not proved to be ridiculous.
“He’s shown that only seconds into the game.”