Rashford ready for England and Man Utd acclaim after Euro 2016 call-up and new club deal
Lee Gormley | May 31, 2016
Future looks bright for Rashford
Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford has caused widespread elation among Manchester United supporters, with the former Chelsea boss succeeding Louis van Gaal despite an FA Cup success, but the excitement had already begun to build earlier at the club due to an emergence of another new talent.
Having burst onto the scene at senior level with a debut double against Midtjylland in the Europa League back in February, 18-year-old sensation Marcus Rashford has since gone on to star for the Red Devils, finishing his maiden season with eight goals in 18 appearances.
With the teenage prospect being one of many youngsters handed first-team debuts by former Dutch coach Van Gaal and seizing his opportunity in style, the club were quick to tie down the latest promising starlet off the Red Devils academy conveyor belt.
Rashford recently put pen to paper on a new long-term contract keeping him at Old Trafford until at least 2020, just days after Mourinho was unveiled as manager, and he will now have his sights set firmly on starring at Euro 2016 with England this summer, when he is 2/1 from Coral to score at anytime in France.
France a huge platform for Red Devils starlet
Following his new deal at Old Trafford, which is set to see him earn a reported £20k-a-week, Rashford outlined his delight at prolonging his stay with the club he has been with since 2005, as well as making the final England squad cut under Hodgson.
“I am grateful for having the chance to prove myself,” he stated. “To be able to play football at the biggest club in the world means everything to me and my family.”
As well as swiftly finding his feet at Man Utd, Rashford’s rampant rise to prominence saw him grab the headlines on the international stage too, as he struck just two minutes into his full debut for Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions against Australia.
With his well-controlled volley only moments into the clash at the Stadium of Light, the teenager became the youngest ever England debutant goalscorer and the third youngest ever in the nation’s history behind current skipper Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen.
The in-form finisher’s recent exploits have seen him become a potential goal threat for England in France, with his matured performance against the Soceroos boosting his reputation further and forcing himself into Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.
Can Rashford star at Euro 2016?
After successfully dispatching on his debut in the Europa League back in February, having been given the chance to feature because of an injury to Anthony Martial, Rashford went on to repeat his feat by netting on his maiden Premier League outing.
His 138-second opener against Australia then came later in May and the incredible emergence sees him now instilled at 10/1 to finish as his country’s top scorer in France this summer, as they prepare for Group B encounters with Russia, Slovakia and Wales.
Despite his instant heroics for the national side, Rashford still has plenty of competition for places in the England set-up, with Hodgson’s seemingly still seeing Rooney as a forward rather than midfielder, while Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Leicester City marksman Jamie Vardy will be key to any success.
Man Utd’s latest starlet may not be granted a starting position for the Three Lions’ tournament opener against Russia on June 11th, but he could enjoy a successful role as an impact sub, especially if proceedings aren’t going as planned for Rooney and co.
With other clashes coming against Slovakia and British rivals Wales, who will hope Gareth Bale can emulate his superb qualifying heroics on French soil, Rashford could yet produce more magical moments for his country in his short but so far sweet career.
Rashford role in Mourinho reign
The 18-year-old, who also fired in the winner during this year’s earlier Manchester derby in the top flight, is 25/1 to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot next season, though his role under new boss Mourinho will not be clear until closer to the new 2016/17 campaign.
Many supporters held initial fears over the club’s current wealth of young talent when Mourinho arrived on the scene, with the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid coach not seen as a true believer in bringing through academy players, but Rashford (and teammate Cameron Borthwick-Jackson) put any worries to rest by committing his future.
There’s no doubt Mourinho will look to bolster his inherited Red Devils roster this summer, with compatriot and Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes being a heavily tipped target as well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the 53-year-old mentor will have plenty of young stars to call upon too.
Rashford will head that list of prospects, which also features Borthwick-Jackson, Northern Ireland versatility player Paddy McNair, France international forward Martial and solid defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah, with Mourinho possessing a good blend of youth and experience.
Odds of 16/1 for Man Utd striker Rashford eventually overtaking Rooney as England’s all-time marksman may be a bit premature, but the latest Old Trafford sensation has already showcased his exciting talent on the biggest of footballing stages and will look to continue his blindingly fast rise to stardom on French soil this summer.