Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford rose to fame last season, starting in the UEFA Europa League at Old Trafford in a match Louis van Gaal’s side needed to win in order to make the next round of the competition, losing 2-1 to Midtjylland the week previous. Anthony Martial was due to start but was injured in the warm-up with Rashford taking his place. The then 17-year-old scored a brace in a 5-1 victory, starting the match against Arsenal the following Sunday with Rashford against scoring a brace. Last season, Rashford scored eight goals in all competitions, which was a pretty good start to his Manchester United career. He made his debut for England ahead of the European Championships, scoring on his debut against Australia, then featuring in England’s ill-fated tournament in France, starring against Iceland, the only England player to do that.Andy Cole, speaking exclusively to 888Sport
This last week, Rashford, after being demoted to the England U21 squad, scored a hat-trick against Norway in an U21 European Championships qualifier, raising his profile all the more ahead of this weekend’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford. Rashford is a player on the right road to becoming a star, but will be used in the right way for both club and country in order to bring out the best in the player. Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has recognised that Rashford will become an Old Trafford great after his dramatic rise to fame in the United squad last season. Cole, speaking exclusively to 888Sport, said:
“Will he become a Manchester United great? We’re all hoping that he can be. He’s had a great start to his career: he’s been brilliant and I’m hoping he has enough games this season to show everyone how good he is. He has all the qualities for the big time and, like myself, he nicks a goal.”
This weekend’s Manchester derby will see United go head-to-head with a resurgent Manchester City, who currently top the Premier League table, on goal difference at least. Both United and City and enjoyed a 100% start to their season, earning nine points out of nine in the Premier League, which could well come to the end for one team this weekend. City will be without the suspended Sergio Aguero, which could mean that Pep Guardiola could spearhead his team with young striker Kelechi Iheanacho, a player who has risen through the City ranks similarly to Rashford, despite him not being a product of Manchester City’s trumpeted Academy, but having a great impact in the side. This could mean that both Iheanacho and Rashford are pitted against each other with Andy Cole suggesting both players could be giants of Manchester. Cole, speaking exclusively to 888Sport, said:
“They’re both young players starting out in their careers. Though they are different types of players they have both forced their way into their teams by scoring goals. The pair have massive futures. I’m sitting here as a Manchester United fan thinking what a fantastic future Rashford has and with Iheanacho he has taken his opportunity with both hands. I’ll like to see the pair of them spearheading Manchester United and Manchester City – in their respective ways – in years to come.”
The Manchester derby is a prestigious match with a massive rivalry. United have dominated the most over the years, but recently City has risen, with the help of oil-rich Arabs, to give United some competition, which was previously impossible without much money. Both Rashford and Iheanacho are bright prospects for their respective clubs and both will go far, providing they are given the time to succeed and continue their development.
Read the full 888sport interview with Andy Cole, including his thoughts on how Marcus Rashford can become an Old Trafford legend.