Ladies and gentleman, it’s Marcus Rashford’s time. We already discussed it during pre-season, but he has surpassed even the more optimistic expectations.
It’s time we accept Rashford as a reality, not only as an exciting prospect. It’s time we realise Rashford could be the best English player for Manchester United since the days Wayne Rooney was in his prime. But most importantly, we need to accept Rashford is ready for a bigger role with the team this season. Not the next one, not in three more years. Rashford has shown enough to be considered a starter right now in Jose Mourinho’s tactical system.
How good has Rashford been this season?
Well, first of all, we need to take a look at his stats with a grain of salt. Small-sample size applies here, because it is unlikely he will maintain this pace throughout the entire season. But so far, the 19-year-old forward has been impressive to the point that he has been one of the most productive players on the squad.
Through eight games across all competitions, Rashford has five goals and two assists. He has already scored in the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, and the Carabao Cup.
Let’s remember he is coming off an impressive two-goal performance against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup this past Wednesday. While we need to take the opponent into consideration, netting twice (with one assist) is always impressive no matter who you are playing against. And this kind of performance should solidify the youngster’s status within the first-team scenario for Mourinho.
Rashford Receiving Praises All Over The World
Former Manchester United player and current coach Phil Neville said he thinks Rashford is “as good as [Ousmane] Dembele or [Kylian] Mbappe”. And while the former two have a deeper – and better – track record, there is no doubt the Academy graduate has been much better this season. If we compare all three, it’s easy to see the differences:
- Rashford: eight appearances, five goals, two assists, scores every 86 minutes
- Mbappe: five appearances, two goals, no assists, scores every 205 minutes
- Dembele: four appearances, two assists, no goals. Sidelined for 3-4 months
So yes. Rashford has been the better player out of the three so far this season. That must mean something, right?
What Should Mourinho Do With Him?
Rashford can play all over the attacking third, but he profiles better either as a left winger or as a striker. Last Wednesday he played all alone upfront against Burton, and he showed the entire world what he can do.
We have to be realistic, though. Rashford is not going to play upfront, because it would not be the best idea to take Romelu Lukaku out of the squad considering his form. He could easily start on the left, possibly on a three-men attacking line with Juan Mata on the right and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the centre.
Ultimately Mourinho has the final word on what will happen with the talented youngster, but the numbers don’t lie. He has proven himself as a valuable commodity thus far, and needs to get a bigger role as soon as possible. United fans all over the world would appreciate it.