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England’s run to Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy has been built on their depth in quality as Gareth Southgate has been forced to tweak and tinker with his side en route to Wembley.
The Three Lions improved after Harry Maguire recovered from injury to make a late arrival in the tournament, while Jack Grealish has come up with vital contributions in a fringe role.
One player fans might have expected would see more action is Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, who has made each of his four appearances at Euro 2020 off the bench.
And television presenter Diletta Leotta expressed her shock that the forward hasn’t been a more prominent fixture, comparing him to some of the best young talents in Europe.
Writing for The Sun, Leotta said: “And speaking of entertainment, I am amazed that a talent like Marcus Rashford is not among the starting players.
“I think he is one of the best strikers in Europe, together with Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. “He has technique, speed, power and creativity.
“So I hope Southgate will leave him on the bench on Sunday night too.”
The Italian beauty, 29, has been covering Italy’s quest for a second European Championship title, during which they’ve been forced to play 120 minutes in two of their three knockout fixtures.
Roberto Mancini’s side beat Austria 2-1 in extra time before ousting Belgium in the quarter-finals, going on to edge Spain on penalties to qualify for the decider.
Do you think Marcus Rashford deserves to start in the Euro 2020 final? Let us know in the comments section.
Leotta—who boasts a staggering 7.8million Instagram followers—may be hoping for an Azzurri victory in London but has displayed an in-depth knowledge of England’s hopefuls.
Competition for places among Southgate’s attack is steep, with captain Harry Kane certain to lead England’s line after scoring four times in three knockout games.
The Tottenham talisman heads into Sunday’s final eyeing Euro 2020’s Golden Boot, with only Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick (five goals apiece) having scored more at the tournament.
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has netted three of his own and been arguably England’s best player this summer, making him another shoo-in to start against Italy.
Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho have exchanged starts on the right flank and each sparkled at times, leaving Rashford no clear pathway to claim a place among the front three.
DAZN presenter Leotta described Kane and Sterling as “complete, technically strong and both explosive” ahead of what’s likely to be the toughest test of their international careers to date.
Mancini has led Italy to a national-team record of 33 games without defeat, while England have gone 12 games in a row since their last loss.
It seems unlikely Southgate will call upon Rashford to make his first start of the competition in its last fixture, even after he scored 21 goals and recorded 12 assists in 57 games for United last season.
The 23-year-old trailed only Bruno Fernandes (28) in goals scored across all competitions at Old Trafford, but his Euro 2020 involvement has nonetheless been kept to cameo appearances.
Rashford was seen smiling and joking as England undertook their final training session ahead of the final on Saturday.
Southgate’s judgement has been spot on thus far after guiding England to their maiden Euro final, but there’s at least one Italian eager to see the coach unleash a restricted Rashford on Sunday.
- Marcus Rashford
- England Football Team
- Euro 2020
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