Eriksson urges Hodgson to try Rashford out in an England friendly

The Swede reckons should the Three Lions boss want to call up the in-form Manchester United striker, then seeing how good he is in a friendly is the best place to start

Sven-Goran Eriksson has urged Roy Hodgson to play Marcus Rashford in one of England's upcoming friendlies with a view to potentially selecting the rising Manchester United star for Euro 2016.

Rashford has been widely touted as a future international striker after scoring five goals in his first eight appearances for United this season, though the 18-year-old was not included in the England squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Netherlands and Germany.

Eriksson, who took an untried Theo Walcott to the 2006 World Cup as a 17-year-old, knows full well that selecting a youngster without any prior experience for his country is a risk. 

And therefore the Swede says should Hodgson be contemplating calling up Rashford, he should give him a run-out in one of England's final three friendlies against Turkey, Australia or Portugal first to see whether he's ready for the big stage in the summer.

"If Roy wants to take a risk, he should play him in the friendlies now to take a look at him," he said. "To see if he's ready, if he's good enough and so on.

"Because I took a risk when I took (Theo) Walcott, because he hadn't played in any friendly games for us. So that was a risk. 

"So it's better to let him play in some of the friendlies to see if he is ready or not."

Walcott, Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Jamie Vardy are the five strikers included in the squad for the Netherlands and Germany tests and Eriksson believes that, although Hodgson may well experiment in both games, he already knows the side that he plans to start against Russia in England's opening Euro 2016 game on June 11.

"I guess he knows his starting team even if he won't speak about it," said the Swede. "I'm sure he knows it.

"As a manager you know it a long time before. 

"Then at the last minute you can change something if something happens but he knows it, I'm sure."