Dion Dublin believes Marcus Rashford will miss out on Euro 2016 – but has backed the Manchester United youngster to be an England star for years.
The United wonderkid is set for his Three Lions debut against Australia on Friday as England’s preparations for France gather pace.
But former England striker Dublin feels boss Roy Hodgson will leave Rashford out in favour of Daniel Sturridge, despite the Liverpool striker’s injury problems this season.
Hodgson must trim his 26-man provisional squad to 23 after Friday’s game with captain Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane – who scored 24 and 25 league goals respectively this season – certain to fill three striker spots.
And Dublin, who was left out of England’s final World Cup 98 squad, feels 18-year-old Rashford is going to be the odd one out, even after eight goals in 18 games for United.
“I personally don’t think he’ll go because Roy will stick with Vardy, Kane, Rooney in behind and Sturridge,” said the ex-Aston Villa and Manchester United forward.
“Rashford will just miss out, Rooney will play in the hole and I think Roy will play Vardy and Kane up top with Sturridge being the impact forward – and what a player to have impact.
“He’ll be fine, he’s a young lad. He has got his feet firmly on the floor, has a taste of playing for the biggest club in the world.
“He’ll be very happy to take a bit of a break, reflect on his season and score more goals next season. Realistically, I don’t think he’s thinking ‘I’m going to the Euros’ but he’ll be prepared as he’ll have a good head on his shoulders.
“If he doesn’t make it this time I can guarantee you he’ll make it to the next four or five tournaments England have.”
Rashford has shone in his breakthrough season after rising through the United ranks while Dublin was released by Norwich and spent four years at Cambridge before moving to Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1992.
He added: “He seems to have that attitude of appreciating what he’s got. In comparison, I was cleaning the pro’s cars, I was cleaning their boots, sweeping out stands when the season was closed.
“He could be going into work every day, training hard, listening to the coaches and passing on bits of info he’s picked up from Rooney and that’s good enough for me.”