A new interview with Jermain Defoe by the Daily Mail reveals that the Bournemouth forward is a huge fan of Marcus Rashford. Knowing the Manchester United star from England duty, Defoe believes the sky is the limit.
Interviewed by his former Tottenham teammate Jamie Redknapp, here’s the exchange about Rashford.
Jamie Redknapp: I bet you’ve changed the work ethic with the forwards. Do you say to Josh King and Benik Afobe, let’s do a bit of finishing after training?
Jermain Defoe: You want to stay behind and do a little bit extra. Josh and Benik love it — we have little competitions. Even in the gym, it is competitive. I’m looking at the young ones and thinking, I’ve got to keep up here — even when I’m away with England. With England, the lads who don’t play train the next day. I didn’t feel like I’d done enough, so I did a few runs, and a couple of the other boys came over.
Gareth (Southgate) pulled me over and said the younger lads see that and think if JD’s doing that and he’s 34, then I’ll come over and do it. Rashford came up to me and spoke to me about finishing. I said to him before the last game (against Slovakia), ‘Are you going to score for me today?’ He said, ‘I’m going to score because we’ve done finishing in training.’
JR: What’s Rashford like to work with?
JD: He’s unbelievable. The sky is the limit for him. Before games he is calm and relaxed — then goes out and produces. It’s only a matter of time before he starts scoring 20, 25 goals a season.
JR: Sergio Aguero, Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane, Alvaro Morata. If you were a manager, who would be your first choice of those four?
JD: I’ve always loved Harry. Before Tottenham bought (Roberto) Soldado, I remember saying to the lads that Harry should be in the first team — even if it’s just cup games. I’d be in the treatment room and he’d come in.
I’d say, ‘How many goals did you score for the Under 21s today?’ He’d say, ‘Two, three…’ Why were they not pushing him through? When I was at West Ham, that’s what it was like. If you’re good enough, you’re playing. But if I had to pick one of those strikers, it would be Aguero. He’s just unbelievable. Champions League? He’ll do it. Tournaments? He’ll do it.
JR: Do you think Rashford has the capability to get to that level?
JD: I think so, once he has that first season when he’s scored 20 goals. You’ve already seen how he’s scored a few goals and looks confident with his finishing now.
Marcus Rashford has had an electric start to the season. The 19-year-old has already scored five goals just a month into the campaign and provided a bunch of assists. This could be the season he gets 20 goals in all competitions.