A number of wonder-kids have emerged in world football in recent years, with players like Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele being two of the most notable after their huge moves to Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona respectively. Marcus Rashford has been steadily making a name for himself at Manchester United at the same time as these stars, but he is not yet regarded in the same class. Could that be set to change in the years to come?
Unlike Mbappe and Dembele, who is currently battling a hamstring injury, Rashford is not currently regarded as one of the stars of the show for United, but he has become an increasingly useful addition to Jose Mourinho’s team sheets. Various managers have seemed unsure on the youngster’s best position, with Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal, and Gareth Southgate all having used Rashford in attacking midfield and striking roles.
Pundits like former United stalwart Phil Neville believe that Rashford is good enough to play in any of these spots, and shouldn’t be tied down to operating in a particular role. The Match of the Day analyst also believes that Rashford should be regarded in the same bracket as the French superstars of PSG and Barca.
Rashford’s performances say it all. Since he broke onto the scene two seasons ago under Louis van Gaal, the world has stood up and taken notice, with a firm belief that this academy product has the potential to be one of the best in the business. The 19-year-old scored critical goals in his Europa League, Premier League, League Cup, Champions League, and England debuts, and clearly isn’t fazed by playing under pressure on the biggest stages. Prior to the second international break of the season, the Mancunian had already notched 2 goals and 3 assists in the league from a wide position. Although he’s played more matches, his output has exceeded that of Mbappe.
With Romelu Lukaku seemingly irreplaceable as the lone striker in Mourinho’s system, Rashford will have to make the winger role his own and take his game to the next level in this position. The Belgian was at odds of 9/4 with online betting sites to win the Golden Boot this term heading into the crunch tie against Liverpool, and he has been in red hot form all season. Rashford may see himself one day operating in Lukaku’s spot, but it’s hard to see him ousting the £75 million summer acquisition anytime soon.
This season could well be a pivotal one for Rashford. He has established himself as an important player in the squad and could be about to have his busiest ever campaigns in professional football. With the World Cup in Russia just around the corner, the 19-year-old also looks set to play a crucial role for England in the ultimate tournament. If all goes well, Rashford could take his game to the next level and find himself mentioned alongside some of the world’s best in his age group. Whatever happens this year, the future looks bright for the young Mancunian.