Marcus Rashford, who has made 201 senior appearances in the United States, scored 64 goals and helped 31, recently received praise from an unexpected quarter.
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, while in conversation about his teammate and excellent defender Ruud van Nisterlooy, hinted that he was really optimistic about Rashford turning out to be as great a defender as van Nisterlooy.
In his long and distinguished Old Trafford career, he played alongside a number of iconic players, including Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Carlos Tevez and Teddy Sheringham. However, he assumes that Van Nistelrooy has risen to the top in terms of finishing. “I played with some unbelievable centre-forwards. You are thinking Cole, Dwight Yorke, Sheringham, Solskjaer. There are loads. There are some unbelievable goalscorers. But, to me, van Nistelrooy was the best finisher.”
This observation is prompted by Scholes’ playing alongside the defender for many years; it is an up-close-and-personal outtake on the footballer. “I played number 10 with Ruud for a season – and I loved it. He’s just a ruthless, ruthless goalscorer. He just lived for scoring goals. Whenever he did score or didn’t score, the first thing he would do when we got on the team bus after the game was see if Thierry Henry scored,” Scholes told the. “And if Henry had scored, he wouldn’t talk to anybody for the full trip home because he was so engrossed in being the leading goalscorer, not just at United but in the league, in the world, everywhere. I loved the way Ruud finished as well.”
Scholes then went on to compare Rashford to van Nistelrooy. “I always remember watching Marcus in the reserve team, when he was an out and out centre-forward. Sometimes I would go to games and just watch him and not really watch where the ball was. I’d look for his movement – is he clever enough to have that link with a midfield player? I think he has that. I was really excited when he first got into the team, a little bit luckily at first – I think there was an injury to someone. But ever since he has got into the team he has shown the talent he has got as a centre-forward or a player wide on the left. I always remember seeing him as a kid and I thought his intelligence and his movement was as a centre-forward. He looked like an out and out number nine, but now you see him in games now he seems to enjoy it more from the left-hand side.”
As such, despite Rashford usually playing off the left in recent years, Scholes harbours high hopes that Rashford will also prove to be a success as a center-forward.