The Time Is Now For Marcus Rashford

A spate of injuries to first-team players may have provided Marcus Rashford with the chance to shine last season under Louis Van Gaal, but the teenage prodigy has taken the opportunity with both hands. The 18-year-old striker continues to show signs of his huge potential, with his goal in the recent EFL Cup win at Northampton making it no fewer than six competitions in which he has scored on his debut. He is unquestionably the most exciting youth player to emerge from Manchester United’s academy in years, and while some may believe that Jose Mourinho should bide his time and not thrust Rashford straight into the limelight, it is clear that his time is now. His case is certainly aided by Anthony Martial’s indifferent start to the season, and with United’s title odds dropping in the latest football odds with Coral following consecutive defeats against Manchester City and Watford, Rashford’s inclusion in the starting line-up would certainly lift the mood amongst the fans.

The Wythenshawe-born lad has all the ability and potential to make a real name for himself in the game, but perhaps his greatest quality is remaining grounded whilst the hype surrounding him goes into overdrive. We cannot help but feel excited over the future that lies ahead for Rashford, and with every game that passes by in which the young man makes a real impact with his pace, movement and clinical finishing ability, the calls for him to become a regular feature in Manchester United’s line-up grow ever stronger. It is clear to see why; there is a distinct difference to the level of threat we pose going forward when Rashford is on the pitch, and although he certainly delivers as an impact substitute, Mourinho should harness his raw talent from the start more often.

Martial’s struggles and Wayne Rooney’s crisis of confidence should make Rashford a shoe-in to feature from the start in Manchester United’s upcoming games, with Mourinho set to ring the changes after being left feeling furious at recent performances. The ‘Special One’ is not afraid to take big-name players out of the firing line if they feel they are not contributing to the team or are struggling to make an impact, with Rooney certainly in his crosshairs as he continues to look a distinct shadow of his former self. His woes could prove to be Rashford’s gain, and although some would argue that the teenage prodigy is more effective as a number nine, he may have to adapt his game slightly to affect the game out wide to accompany Zlatan Ibrahimovic through the middle. Seeing Rashford’s name in the starting line-up may make fans more confident of backing the team with Coral, with their website including betting odds for the matches coming up on the horizon for United and the latest transfer news. It may take a lot more than one EFL Cup win against a League One side to persuade fans that the team are back on track, but we all want to see Rashford given a chance to shine from the start on a regular basis.

The last time there was so much excitement and hype surrounding an English prodigy was back in 2002 when a young Wayne Rooney broke onto the scene at Everton with the sort of ability that made you instantly stand up and take notice. He had a spark and a level of talent that nobody could come close to matching – fast forward fourteen years, and it is difficult not to feel the same way about Rashford. Mourinho must ensure that the young man is not put under pressure to deliver in every single game, but instead allow him to express himself and play with no fear. There is no question that Rashford can get even better if he learns from Rooney and Zlatan, and although it is already clear that Manchester United have a real star in the making, his precocious talent and ability should be at the forefront of the Mourinho era.