Marcus Rashford making case to join list of England teenage sensations


Marcus Rashford’s exceptional FA Cup strike has increased the clamour for the Manchester United teenager to be fast-tracked into the England squad in time for Euro 2016.

The 18-year-old marked his 11th successive senior start with a sixth United goal, showing quick feet, impressive composure and excellent technique to bend home the opener at West Ham on Wednesday evening.

Louis van Gaal’s men went on to win the FA Cup quarter-final replay 2-1 and Rashford’s impact has led to increased talk of the forward perhaps deserving a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad heading to France this summer.

Here, we look at five other teenagers who have been included in England squads at major tournaments in years gone by.

Michael Owen (World Cup 1998, aged 18)

(Sean Dempsey/PA)

A prime example of how a talented, unfettered player can make a huge impact on the biggest stage.

Owen’s fine form at Liverpool earned a place in Glenn Hoddle’s squad for France, with him becoming England’s youngest ever player at a World Cup when brought off the bench against Tunisia.

The teenager appeared as a substitute against Romania and started the final group match against Colombia before going on to produce one of the national team’s best ever goals in the last-16 tie with Argentina, darting through the middle and firing home with aplomb.

Rio Ferdinand (World Cup 1998, aged 19)

(Sean Dempsey/PA)

The 81-cap defender did not get the same chance to impress in France, having been included in Hoddle’s squad at the age of 19.

The West Ham youth product made his debut against Cameroon the previous November and was restricted to a watching brief at the World Cup – no surprise given he was battling for a place with Tony Adams, Gareth Southgate, Sol Campbell and Martin Keown.

Wayne Rooney (Euro 2004, aged 18)

(Nick Potts/PA)

“I don’t remember anyone making such an impact since Pele in the 1958 World Cup,” England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said after Rooney grabbed two goals in a 4-2 defeat of Croatia.

The Everton teenager netted four in all during his first major tournament, with his fine form earning a place in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament.

Rooney has yet to scale those peaks at a major tournament since, but his 51 goals in 109 appearances have made him England’s top scorer of all time.

Theo Walcott (World Cup 2006, aged 17)

(Matt Dunham AP/PA)

Still one of the most peculiar selections England have made for a major tournament.

Walcott’s fine displays at second-tier Southampton earned a big-money move to Arsenal earlier that year, but the forward had yet to make his first-team debut for Arsene Wenger’s men.

Eriksson, who selected another teenager, Aaron Lennon, called his selection a “big gamble” and it was one that had no impact. Walcott did not appear once at the World Cup after making his debut in a warm-up friendly against Hungary.

Luke Shaw (World Cup 2014, aged 18)

(Mike Egerton/PA)

Another off the Southampton production line, but a player who had proved his worth in the Premier League when selected, even earning a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

Shaw, joined in the squad by 19-year-old Raheem Sterling, would become the world’s most expensive teenager when moving on to Manchester United after a World Cup in which he was the youngest player to feature.

The left-back, chosen ahead of Ashley Cole, started the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica and became the second youngest player to represent England on the world stage after Owen.