Marcus Rashford has four goals and two assists in 14 Premier League appearances this season
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says he sees similarities between striker Marcus Rashford and France superstar Kylian Mbappe.
Ten Hag said: “From the first moment I recognised huge potential.
“When Marcus’ positioning is on the back of the defending line, there is almost no better player in the world. There is [only] Mbappe in this moment.”
Rashford will now return to Premier League action for United, with the competition resuming on 26 December after breaking for the World Cup.
Rashford struggled last season – failing to make an impact after missing the start of the campaign following shoulder surgery.
He scored just four goals in 25 Premier League appearances – the first time he failed to reach double figures since 2017-18 – and lost his place in the national squad.
But Rashford has repaid the faith shown in him this season by Dutch manager Ten Hag in his first season in charge of United, scoring eight goals in 19 games in all competitions.
With four goals in the league, the 25-year-old has already matched his tally in 2021-22.
As well as the threat he poses playing off the last line of defence, Ten Hag feels Rashford is also developing his game out of possession, including the high press, something he was criticised for during Ralf Rangnick’s ill-fated spell as interim boss last season.
The United manager cited Phil Foden’s goal against Wales as an example of the work Rashford is putting in for England.
“I see him do that all the time,” said Ten Hag. “He has done a really good job there for England.”
The forward’s current deal expires at the end of the season, as is the case with fellow senior players goalkeeper David de Gea, full-backs Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw and midfielder Fred.
Ten Hag says United remain in control of the situation because “we have options” to extend those contracts for an additional season and “we will exercise those options”.
However, there have been repeated suggestions of a big money offer for Rashford from Paris St-Germain – the player’s representatives met with the French side in August – and Ten Hag says that while he wants the forward to stay, the matter is not in his hands.
“He has to make a decision,” he said. “The only thing we can do is show him this is the best club to be in, which has to do with the culture of the club and also in the way we are working, in the way we play and the way we train and if we are offering the right environment to progress.
“It’s a financial issue as well. Then it is up to him to make the decision. But for one-and-a-half years, he will be here.”