A dream start for Rashford!
At 18 years and 120 days, Marcus Rashford has become the youngest ever player to score for Manchester Utd in European competition. His two debut goals against the Danish team, FC Midtjylland, in the UEFA Europa League broke a record that had lasted for 51 years! To prove that his debut goals were no fluke, Rashford scored two more goals on his Premier Leage debut, three days later. His two goals and one assist, against Arsenal in a 3-2 win for the Red Devils, showed that his goals against the Danish Champions weren't a one-off and it was no surprise when the teenager was given a standing ovation from the fans when he was substituted. Rashford is the name on the lips of many Manchester Utd fans at the moment.
"This is my first game in the Premier League, so obviously it's been amazing and to score two is just a bonus." Marcus Rashford, Manchester Utd striker.
Who is Marcus Rashford?
Marcus Rashford was born in October 1997, in Wythenshawe, which is a poor area in the south of Manchester. As a child, he played for Fletcher Moss Rangers, which is a youth team that has become famous locally for producing top players. Some of the Premier League players that have played for this youth team include; Danny Welbeck (Manchester Utd & Arsenal), Wes Brown (Manchester Utd & Sunderland), and Ravel Morrison (West Ham & Lazio). Tyler Blackett and Cameron Borthwick-Johnson also played for this youth team and have joined Rashford in Manchester Utd's first-team squad this season. As a teenager, Rashford also took part in Manchester Utd's Street Reds programme. Street Reds is run by the Manchester Utd Foundation and gives free football sessions and other activities to young people aged 8-18 in the Manchester area. The programme also gives children opportunities to learn new skills and work towards qualifications in a supportive and positive environment.
"They all wanted Marcus on their five-a-side teams and it caused a few arguments when they were all trying to pick him, but it didn’t affect him." Dave Chapman, a coach on the Street Reds programme.
Will Marcus Rashford make it in the Premier League?
Some people will argue that Marcus Rashford has already made it. He is playing in the Premier League for one of the biggest clubs in world football. However, there are examples of teenagers who have made great starts to their Premier League careers and faded away, and those that have continued to perform at the highest level. Let's first take a look at those players that Rashford would love to emulate:
- Wayne Rooney - scored his first Premier League goal, for Everton, at 18 years and 120 days, exactly the same age as Marcus Rashford. He has gone on to become one of the greatest ever Premier League players and Manchester Utd goalscorers.
- Ryan Giggs - played his first game for Manchester Utd as a 17 year-old and went on to win more trophies than any other player in Englsh football history.
- Cesc Fabregas - became Arsenal's youngest ever player at 16 years and 177 days and has gone on to win the Premier League with Chelsea and World Cup with Spain.
And some career paths that Rashford hopes not to follow:
- James Vaughan - Vaughan became the youngest ever Premier League goalscorer when he scored for Everton aged 16 years and 271 days. However, played only 47 times in 7 years at Everton and is currently with Birmingham City, in the second division.
- Matthew Briggs - at 16 years and 65 days Briggs became the youngest player to ever play in the Premier League, when he came on as a substitute for Fulham in 2007. But, he played only 13 times in 8 years with Fulham and is now playing for Colchester Utd, in the English third division.
- Federico Macheda - like Rashford, Macheda scored on his debut for Manchester Utd, and like Rashford he also scored in his next match. However, he only scored two more Premier League goals for the club and is currently playing for Cardiff City in the second division.
Is it important for teams to include local talent?
Manchester Utd are famous for producing young players that come through the youth system and many of these players come from the Manchester area, like Marcus Rashford. This season, the Manchester Utd manager, Louis van Gaal, has continued this tradition and introduced many young players to the first-team. These players include the most expensive teenager in football history, Anthony Martial, but also include local players like Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett. Many fans like the fact that some of the players come from the local area and stay with the club throughout their careers. Here are some examples of one-club players:
- Gary Neville - born in Greater Manchester, Neville made 602 appearances for Manchester Utd between 1992 and 2011.
- Tony Adams - born in London, Adams played 674 times for Arsenal between 1983 and 2002.
- Jamie Carragher - born in the Liverpool area, Carragher played 737 matches for Liverpool but he was actually an Everton fan as a child!
- Ledley King - born in London, King made 321 appearances for Tottenham between 1999 and 2012.
Did you know......?
- Rashford broke George Best's record to become the youngest player to score in Europe for Man Utd. If Rashford can enjoy a career like the Manchester Utd legend, the fans will be very, very happy.
- Rashford, aged 18 years and 120 days, is exactly the same age as Wayne Rooney was, when he scored his first Premier League goals.
- Rashford is one of only six players to have played a part in three goals on their Premier League debut.
- Most Premier League players wear brightly coloured boots these days. Rashford's are still black because Manchester Utd have a rule that youth players can't change the colour!
- Rashford scored with his first shot in his first two games for Manchester Utd.
What do you think?
Do you think Rashford will become a Premier League star?
Do you think it's important that clubs use players from their local area?
Is it important for players to stay at a club for a long time? Why? Why not?
How do you feel if a player moves away from your club after a long time?
Leave your message in the comments section below.