Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United and England forward, came to prominence in the 2015/2016 season first in the Europa league against Midtjylland and scored two memorable goals. Three days later, he repeated this feat against Arsenal in the Premier League.
The Manchester United academy is known for producing quality player over the years. From the time of great Manchester United manager and the one said to have modelled the playing style of the club, Sir Matt Busby. During the time, came the ‘Busby Babes’ that went on to bring glory to the club. The Academy under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson produced the “class of 92”. They went on to be part of the all-conquering Manchester United of 1999.
Over the years, the club saw the great Cristiano Ronaldo grace the turf of Old Trafford and the club has always tried to model their academy players into producing a Ronaldo-esque. The emergency of Rashford in February of 2016, the faithfuls of Old Trafford thought they might be seeing the “new Cristiano Ronaldo.” This is because the fans have longed to see someone wearing the iconic number 7 jersey and producing Ronaldo like performances. The rate at which Rashford began his senior career, the fans only hoped he had the same impact as those to have donned the number 7 jersey.
Rashford has however flattered to deceive with his performances for both club and country. The expectation was that he was at the right club, the proper facilities, and a lot of history before him that is going to inspire him to be a true United great. After the sacking of Louis Van Gaal, the manager that gave him a chance, his performance nosedived drastically such that in a full season under Jose Mourinho he just managed a paltry four goals.
Every season since his debut has always promised a lot yet delivered so little. When Solskjaer came in to replace the sacked Jose Mourinho, Rashford has been played in his favoured central striking role and produced performances that justified the manager’s selection. However, ever since scoring that penalty at the Parc des Princes in Paris against PSG, his performances have been disappointing.
Even though the Old Trafford faithful still have a belief that he is still a prodigy and can again turn out to be an excellent striker like it seemed when he just made his debut. Time will not always wait for him, and football is a sport where patient does not exist anymore.
He needs to delivered to justify his tag as the United prodigy, or he will be overtaken by players like Greenwood, Chong and Gomes, all just on the sidelines of the first team waiting for their chance. Besides Chong has already shown that he has no fear with his performance in Paris.
Rashford needs to deliver if Manchester United can build a team around him.
By Moono John
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