Wayne Rooney would start Marcus Rashford ahead of Jack Grealish against Germany on Tuesday.
England take on Germany in the last-16 hoping to book a place in the quarter-finals at Euro 2020. And the country’s record all-time goalscorer feels Rashford’s attributes are tailor-made to beat the Germans.
Currently in charge of Derby County, helping them avoid relegation from the Championship last season, I’m sure Rooney has a different perspective on the game from when he played.
Grealish was handed his first Euros start against the Czech Republic and impressed, setting up Raheem Sterling for what proved to be the winner. He could link up with Sterling again next season, with reports suggesting the Aston Villa midfielder is headed to Man City, as per Sky Sports.
The former Manchester United striker selected Rashford ahead of Grealish in his preferred XI to face Germany, with the belief that Rashford’s pace could be huge in the game.
“After all my championing of Jack Grealish, I wouldn’t play him from the start against Germany,” Rooney said in his column for The Times.
“He was one of England’s better players against the Czech Republic and it is not that my opinion of him has changed. My thinking is entirely down to how the Germans play. Different opponents demand different approaches and Tuesday’s game is tailor-made for Marcus Rashford — but not Jack.
“Germany play three at the back with a high line and what they try to do is almost suffocate you. They pass side to side, get the ball in wide areas, come back and go all the way out to the other flank, then get balls into the penalty area.
“And when you win it, they want you to play a pass to feet because that means — with their line pushed right up — they can go and press you high up the pitch.
“The more players you have who want to take the ball to feet, the more they can press, so instead of Jack I’d be looking to have runners either side of Harry Kane.
“My instruction would be to attack the spaces behind their wing backs when they go forward and make runs down the channels to the sides of their centre backs — especially given Mats Hummels’ problems against pace.”
Most will be calling for Grealish to start but I think Rooney has a point, though with his ongoing shoulder injury it could also be a good opportunity to give Jadon Sancho the nod.
We haven’t seen him enough for England this summer, which could prove to be a blessing in disguise for United.