Sven Goran Eriksson: Hodgson Right To Choose Rashford For England

Sven Goran Eriksson
Sven Goran Eriksson in Baden-Baden, Germany, June 28, 2006. Eriksson endorses Roy Hodgson's decision to include Marcus Rashford in his England squad. Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson believes Roy Hodgson's decision to include Marcus Rashford in his provisional squad for Euro 2016 is "fresh".

Hodgson picked the 18-year-old Manchester United forward alongside Tottenham's Harry Kane, Leicester's Jamie Vardy, Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and United's Wayne Rooney in the striker's position.

But Eriksson, who led England to three major tournaments between 2001 and 2006, praised Hodgson's decision to select Rashford despite his age.

"He is a great talent," the Swede tells Newsweek. "I don't know him very well but I have seen him [play] sometimes. Why not? I think it's fresh and I think Roy did well to choose him.

"Every time a manager picks a young player it is positive. It is positive for now and for the future.

"I don't know [whether he should go to France] but if a manager picks a young, talented player it is very positive."

Eriksson famously selected Theo Walcott for the 2006 World Cup in Germany when he was 17 years old and yet to make a first-team appearance for Arsenal.

"I picked Theo Walcott when he was young and hadn't played very much," the 68-year-old, now manager of Shanghai SIPG, says. "I was hailed because I took him but criticised because I didn't play him."

Another young star who played for Eriksson during his time as England manager was Wayne Rooney, who scored four goals at Euro 2004 at the age of 18 and was named in UEFA's team of the tournament.

Opinion has also been divided about whether Hodgson should play Rooney, now 30, in France, but Eriksson believes the England captain "must be picked for the national team."

He adds: "Roy is following the Premier League day in, day out, so if he picks that player or another player, whatever he picks, it is the best he can find.

"Roy is not going to France on holiday, he is going with a bunch of players and they want to win it, they want to do very well. So, whatever he chose, that is what he believes, that's his choice and that's his job."