Manchester United’s famous academy produced some of England’s finest ever footballing talent and now, in Marcus Rashford, it has once again delivered in stunning fashion.
Bursting onto the scene for United last February, the 18-year-old Rashford has had what can only be described as an unbelievable start to the first team career. A brace on his debut, in the Europa League, was quickly followed up by another on his debut in the Premier League.
The signs were there for all to see; this was a boy to watch. Given his debut by then manager Louis van Gaal, Rashford was the highlight of the Dutch manager’s tenure in charge at Old Trafford.
With the departure of Van Gaal in May and the subsequent arrival of José Mourinho, fears grew for the young striker and his place in the United starting line up. The arrival of veteran superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, likewise, did little for fans’ confidence regarding the youngster.
With Ibrahimovic starting up front, the young England man has featured sparingly and was dropped to the England U21 squad by new manager, Sam Allardyce, last week.
Then, against Hull on a rain-soaked afternoon, Rashford reminded Mourinho just what he is about, with a match-winning, injury time goal. Heading into the international break, the young forward had something to prove, to show Mourinho and Allardyce, that he is in fact the real deal and England’s in-form striker.
On Tuesday night, against a hapless Norway, Rashford did just that. Scoring a hat-trick on his England U21 debut, the United man has sent an emphatic message to Mourinho and his England boss, letting them know that they dare not leave him out of their respective match day squads.
Europa League debut ⚽⚽
Premier League debut ⚽⚽
England debut ⚽
England U21 debut ⚽⚽⚽
— STEVOW 7️⃣ (@BeardMan__) September 6, 2016
Rashford’s record to date has been incredible. Under Mourinho he has the chance to play alongside some of the best footballers in the world and he has shown the potential to become one of the true greats of English football.
The three goals against Norway is a massive statement of intent by the young striker. Whether Mourinho and Allardyce are listening and will heed his message remains to be seen.
Regardless of whether he is called back up the England squad or into the United starting XI, one thing is for certain. We are watching the early days of a player who could be one of England’s greatest ever goal scorers.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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