England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate believes fearless Marcus Rashford has the right mentality to potentially emulate some of the country’s biggest international stars.
Southgate is set to hand the Manchester United striker an Under-21 debut against Norway in Colchester on Tuesday after Rashford dropped down from the senior squad following his inclusion at Euro 2016.
Rashford scored eight goals for United last season and netted on his England debut against Australia in May before making two substitute appearances during the ill-fated campaign in France.
Ex-Aston Villa defender Southgate played when Michael Owen, current senior skipper Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard made their debuts and feels Rashford is cut from the same cloth.
“It is an interesting point,” he said, ahead of the Under-21s’ Euro 2017 qualifier. “One of the elements you are very aware of in all of those players is that they’re not fazed by anything that is thrown at them. That would seem to be what has happened so far with Marcus and I’m sure that could influence the path.
“But I think it is really early to say where he is going to be and what he is going to be.
“From my point of view it has been about how we were able to make this week as strong a learning experience for him as possible and give him the best opportunity to perform while at the same time wanting that for all of the players.
“If you look at the top players, in the end it’s the mental side that differentiates.”