Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Welbeck: United's Rashford benefiting from free role with England

Welbeck: United's Rashford benefiting from free role with England

Man-of-the-match Marcus Rashford - who opened the scoring against Costa Rica - has given Gareth Southgate a selection headache.

The 20-year-old is not a guaranteed starter at global level either but starred in the 2-0 friendly win over Costa Rica on Thursday, scoring a stunning goal.

Costa Rica: Navas, Waston, Gonzalez, Calvo, Gamboa (Smith 71), Guzman (Tejeda 69), Borges, Oviedo (Matarrita 60), Venegas (Bolanos 60), Campbell, Urena. Their second match is at 1 pm on Sunday 24 June where they will face Panama.

"The first goal was a wonderful, wonderful strike and we've got real competition for places".

It would be a big risk to play Rashford.

It was an absolute screamer.

Everton, Newcastle United and Leicester City are reportedly interested in signing Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford on a loan deal.

Rashford scored on his Manchester United debut, Europa League debut, Premier League debut, Manchester derby debut, England U21 debut, England first-team debut and League Cup debut. If so, it's bringing out the best in him.

With the final warm-up friendlies out of the way and Group G opener against Tunisia edging closer, Press Association Sport's Simon Peach takes a look at some of the decisions Southgate has to make before June 18. That would mean he'd play in the number ten role, which he occupied last night, behind the main striker.

And his very presence sparked a marked improvement in Portugal's attacking thrust as he was involved in nearly every unsafe move the hosts conjured until he was replaced on 74 minutes.

One goal in one game isn't form because he hasn't been doing that all season.

But it's not as straight forward as that.

But against Costa Rica, Rashford looked relaxed and confident on the ball, utilising his electric pace in the right moments but also toying with defenders as he stood on the ball out wide.

At the back too, players are forcing Southgate to think again about his starting line-up.The wing-backs in particular were excellent against Costa Rica, with Danny Rose and debutant Trent Alexander-Arnold showing that they've got the defensive nous and attacking flair to make an impact in Russian Federation.

"He had a hard end to the season having to play on his own as a number nine at times".

The Man United man opened the scoring at Elland Road with a screamer to light up the final World Cup friendly before the team take off for Russian Federation next week.

England: Butland (Pope 65), Jones, Stones (Cahill 65), Maguire, Alexander-Arnold (Trippier 65), Henderson (Alli 65), Delph, Rose, Loftus-Cheek (Lingard 79), Rashford, Vardy (Welbeck 60). Having been given some extra time off following Real Madrid's Champions League final victory over Liverpool, Ronaldo made his 150th global appearance for Portugal.

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