Marcus Rashford should start ahead of his Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney, says Matt Le Tissier
Matt Le Tissier has picked his best England XI for Gareth Southgate’s first game in charge – and thinks captain Wayne Rooney should be dropped for his teenage team-mate Marcus Rashford against Malta.
Rooney has started the last three Manchester United games on the bench, with Rashford favoured by Jose Mourinho, and Le Tiss believes the Three Lions will be a more dangerous attacking force by following suit.
He does, however, reckon Southgate will keep faith in England’s all-time leading scorer after confirming there will be no change in captaincy during his interim spell. Here’s who the former England international would pick for Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier and his reasons why.
“If we’re talking about who I think will start then I’d expect Rooney to be in the line-up because Southgate has kept him as captain, but I’m not sure that if you can’t get into your club side then you should be walking into the England team,” Soccer Saturday pundit Le Tissier told Sky Sports.
“It’s not often that we’ve had that much pace in our team, so when you’ve got it in abundance then use it. I think Rooney, while being very useful on the bench, can slow the play down a bit.
“Rashford has the world at his feet and the lad clearly has a good head on his shoulders so, after forcing his way into the Manchester United team, the next challenge is establishing himself as an England regular.”
Le Tiss does not believe Southgate should incorporate both Rooney and Rashford – and thinks the former’s trial as a midfielder was a failed one.
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“It’s Rashford over Rooney for me because I don’t see Rooney as a midfielder,” he added. “I’d rather have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in there.
“He obviously hasn’t started Arsenal’s last few games but it’s a different situation to Rooney.
Rashford should start, according to Le Tissier
“He’s a lot younger and has had his injury problems, but he’s fresher and quicker and against teams like Malta with a packed defence you need that bit of pace to go by players and get into those dangerous positions.”
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The Southampton legend would like to see Joe Hart retain his place in the XI despite being loaned out to Torino, but prefers Chris Smalling and Ryan Bertrand over Gary Cahill and Danny Rose.
Chelsea’s Gary Cahill does not make Le Tissier’s side
He added: “I think Cahill is a little bit out of sorts at the moment and Stones and Smalling deserve to be starting ahead of him, while I still think Bertrand is a better defender than Rose.”
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