“I actually used it a couple of weeks ago.”
Wayne Rooney has revealed that he used Marcus Rashford’s pathway into the Manchester United first team as an example to the younger players at Derby County.
Rooney, United’s all-time leading goalscorer, hung up his boots in January to focus on his first job in management with Derby, helping the Rams narrowly avoid relegation from the Championship (however, per The Athletic, Derby could still be relegated after the EFL won its appeal to find the club in breach of financial fair play rules.
Derby drew 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the season to finish one point above the relegation zone.
Rashford famously got his chance to shine for United when he was handed his debut by Louis van Gaal after Anthony Martial’s injury in the warm-up before a Europa League game with Midtjylland in February 2016.
The teenage forward struck twice against the Danish club to announce himself to the United supporters in style before establishing himself as an Old Trafford star.
And Rooney has admitted to using Rashford’s story to inspire the younger players hoping to break into the Derby team.
Rooney used Rashford story to inspire Derby youngsters
“Marcus’ story from getting in the first team, I actually used it a couple of weeks ago,” Rooney said during an episode of Between the Lines with Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport.
“We had injuries at Derby and I put a few of the young lads on the bench who hadn’t even trained with us.
“I used Marcus’ story from that, saying ‘Marcus came in from nowhere, he didn’t really train with us, but he came in, made an impact and look what he’s gone on to from that’.
“So for those players, to try and follow in those footsteps when you get a chance, ‘it’s up to you to take it’ and he’s certainly done that.”
Rashford has gone on to score 87 goals in 268 games for United. Impressive for sure, but some way off Rooney’s benchmark of 253.
Watch Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Rio Ferdinand on Between the Lines below.