(Reuters) - Former England defender Jamie Carragher believes Marcus Rashford should replace fellow forward Raheem Sterling for the World Cup fixture against Panama on Sunday, explaining that the Manchester United player is better suited to the side’s system.
Skipper Harry Kane bagged a brace, the second in stoppage time, as England beat Tunisia 2-1 in their opening Group G match on Monday but Sterling was unable to prevent his scoring drought from extending to 21 matches for the national side.
Carragher noted that Rashford’s positive contribution after he replaced Sterling in the 68th minute gave England the impetus to break down a stubborn Tunisia rearguard and said the 20-year-old’s performance warranted a starting spot.
“England’s system does not suit Sterling — or certainly not in the position he is currently occupying,” the former Liverpool defender, who earned 38 caps for England, wrote in his column for the Telegraph.
“It is designed to enable (manager Gareth) Southgate to select more attack-minded, technical players with the added protection of three centre-backs and a holding midfielder.
“At the moment, England are effectively playing with three number 10s... All rely on their movement and pace rather than ability to open up defences with a cute pass. It makes Sterling’s inclusion slightly illogical.”
England face Belgium in their final group game on June 28.
Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien