Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is “free to play” for England and it is showing after his exploits against Costa Rica, according to international team-mate Danny Welbeck.
Rashford dazzled as England defeated Costa Rica 2-0 in a pre-World Cup fixture in Leeds on Thursday – the 20-year-old capping his performance with a stunning 25-yard strike.
The 2017-18 season was a struggle for Rashford, who was mostly restricted to substitute appearances under the conservative approach of United manager Jose Mourinho.
However, former United forward Welbeck – now playing for Premier League rivals Arsenal – believes Rashford is benefiting from freedom with the national team.
“I have enjoyed training with Marcus and from playing against him in the Premier League, I know the qualities he possesses and [on Thursday] he was brilliant,” Welbeck said.
“He has been free to play. The manager told him to go out there and be free – express yourself. The structure we have got as a team means we all know what we have got to do, so when you are in a certain position you know you have got lots of choices.
“He is – how old? – 20. He has got a lot of that youthful enthusiasm. I think tonight he was buzzing all around the pitch. But he is so mature around the place as well at times. He knows when to curb his enthusiasm.”
Welbeck added: “Marcus has the qualities to have an impact on every single game.
“There are a lot players in there who can make an impact in any given moment. I think a lot of the players are really looking to going and seeing what effect they can have.”
Gareth Southgate’s England will face Tunisia (June 18), Panama (June 24) and Belgium (June 28) in Group G at the World Cup in Russia.