Rio Ferdinand has throwing his backing behind Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, and has suggested that this summer’s World Cup in Russia could be a springboard for the youngster. The former United defender, who spent 12 years at Old Trafford
“It could potentially be a breakthrough tournament for Rashford,” Ferdinand told Goal.com. “I do not see him starting the first game for England, but I can see him having an impact at some point in the tournament. And I would love that to be the case, because he is a young kid who works hard on his game, is very switched on and very concentrated on improving himself as a footballer. And I think that deserves an element of luck and opportunity.”
Asked whether Old Trafford is the correct location to continue to hone his craft, Ferdinand answered: “Yes, Manchester United is still the right place for him. I think United are a great breeding ground for young, precocious talent. And Rashford fits that bill perfectly.”
Rashford certainly didn’t do himself a disservice with a productive Man of the Match display against Costa Rica at Elland Road on Thursday evening, scoring from a wonderful long-range drive that dipped over Real Madrid Keylor Navas. Having struggled for form and a regular starting position for United under Jose Mourinho, Ferdinand’s comments certainly back up the assertion that Gareth Southgate might be able to get more out of the 20-year old, and would further shine a negative light on how the Portuguese has handled the player. Rashford’s 13 goals last season were certainly welcome, but he was frequently pushed to the flanks to accommodate Romelu Lukaku up front, and struggled for consistency with his manager hesitant to employ him up front on a regular basis. Perhaps a star showing in the World Cup is exactly what Rashford needs to prove his quality to his sceptical club manager.