Marcus Rashford is well placed to become a true Manchester United great, according to club legend Bryan Robson.
Our talented no.10 turns 21 on Wednesday and has already achieved more than some players will in their entire careers – including playing at a European Championship and a World Cup with England.
The local lad is already inspiring the next generation of young footballers but, although Robson believes Marcus is ahead of schedule in terms of his development, the former England skipper feels he has the potential to get even better.
“I think you always want to improve and better yourself,” the former Reds no.7 told ManUtd.com.
“Marcus is in a great position, he’s been in the first-team squad for over three years now.
“You can see him maturing, he’s building his stamina and strength, and he’s looking really good and sharp at the moment. With Marcus just turning 21 – happy birthday, Marcus! – he’s going in the right direction.”
Robson went on:
“The only thing I would like to see is his finishing just being that little bit better, where we get Marcus up to something like 20 or 30 goals in a season, whether he’s playing out wide or through the middle.
“He’s adapted really well, because he has been playing wide as a player for quite some time now – he hasn’t had too many chances through the middle as a centre-forward. But I think it educates you as a player and Marcus is definitely going the right way to be a top-class player for Manchester United over the years ahead.”
Marcus burst onto the scene in February 2016 by scoring a double against Midtjylland as a substitute in the Europa League on his first-team debut, quickly followed by another brace against Arsenal on his Premier League bow. He then won the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year trophy at the club’s end-of-season awards at Old Trafford.
Since then, he has gone on to score 33 goals, make more than 130 appearances and win three major trophies at the club, as well as represent England at two major international tournaments.
“When you’ve been to a World Cup at the age of 20 like Marcus has, that experience is invaluable to your improvement as a player,” Robbo said.
“That experience will hold him in good stead over the years.
“Everything that Marcus has done has been very good so far, but it’s always the same with young lads – at the age of 21, you’re still a young lad – it’s about improving and getting better and better.”
Robbo had established himself in the England youth teams and at West Bromwich Albion by the time he turned 21, before joining United at the age of 24 in 1981. However, it was after reaching the same milestone birthday as Marcus that his career took a turn for the worse.
“It was really good for me, probably until I got to that age, because I’d gone into the England youth team and we’d won the mini World Cup,” Robson explained.
“I then got into the senior team on a regular basis but then, when I turned 21, I broke my leg three times, so it wasn’t a great period for me when I was 21! But before that, from 19 to 20, everything was going really well for me in my career at that time. Thankfully I got over the broken legs and it didn’t really affect my career.”
‘HE’S A PRIVILEGED PLAYER’
Last week, Jose Mourinho reflected on Rashford’s career so far and spoke of Marcus being in a privileged position for his age.
“Twenty-one years old for some players means zero matches in the first team,” the boss said.
“For the majority of them, it means a squad player that plays a few minutes during the season.
“For Marcus Rashford, that means a player, I think, with more appearances [than any team-mate] in the past two years. It means playing in a World Cup, two seasons of the Champions League, a Europa League final, two FA Cup finals, a League Cup final.
“I think he's a privileged player, a privileged kid or, if you want to say now, a man, that has had so many opportunities to develop himself and he's going to keep having them,” said Jose.
“So I think he has the conditions for his career to explode in the positive way of the word, conditions that not many players have during their careers.”
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