By Dave Marshall
19-year-old teenage sensation, Marcus Rashford is not enjoying his football at the moment. The England international has failed to live up to the lofty standards he set after netting twice on his Manchester United debut against FC Midjtylland. Two goals against Arsenal and a winner against City in the derby catapulted him quickly to superstar status, yet this season has brought the player crashing down to earth. He was used by Louis Van Gaal in February after an injury crisis ravaged his attack, and the youngster never looked back.
He took his chance and was even in the England squad for the European Championships in France held in the summer. Comparisms with the likes of Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney followed, as there were hopes the young forward could repeat the feat of the England legends who shone so brightly at France ’98 and Euro 2004 respectively.
Intelligent on the ball and finishing that will put older strikers to shame, Rashford was the one bright spot of LVG’s ill-fated Old Trafford career, bar the FA Cup title win in May. The teenager brought a new optimism to the Old Trafford faithful, who were delighted that ‘one of their own’ was making the grade at the club, in this new world of football where foreign talents are being sought after. This season, the imposing presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his manager, Jose Mourinho have halted Rashford’s progression.
Zlatan is the egoistic player who wants all things to revolve around him. He hasn’t disapointed, and has netted an impressive 18 goals since his summer arrival. Jose Mourinho, the manager has over the years demonstrated that the progression of youth is not in his DNA, preferring mature players to deliver instant success, which doesn’t give room for long term prospects like Rashford.
Rashford hasn’t scored in over 3 months for United, and is being looked by West Ham as a loan prospect in January. He should take that move, and use that period in London to reignite his love and passion for football, where his talents would be better appreciated. Mourinho is on a quest, and it doesn’t involve babysitting.