Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has heaped praise on striker Marcus Rashford after the teenager netted the winner in the Manchester Derby.
It took just sixteen minutes for Rashford to find the net in style on his derby debut, as he jinked past the bamboozled Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis, who was later subsituted.
Rashford has now scored five goals for the first team in eight consecutive starts, making a real impact since breaking into the first team.
After stealing the show at the Etihad Stadium, Van Gaal is delighted for the Manchester born striker and claimed Rashford as “a real striker” in his post match interview, whilst also stating that the 18-year-old will remain in the team because of his goal threat.
Rashford made his first United appearance scoring twice against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League. That was then followed up three days later by a brace against title-chasing Arsenal, in a 3-2 victory for United at Old Trafford.
The youngster has been a shining light in United’s otherwise bleak season, which has seen them vastly underachieve.
Being knocked out of Europe twice as well as being six points behind Premier League leaders Leicester City has seen manager Van Gaal come under intense scrutiny, though one thing he cannot be criticised for is sticking with young players.
He may well have left Rashford out of such an important game on Sunday, with Memphis Depay an unused substitute who could well have featured. Rashford is in the team on merit rather than desperation on Van Gaal’s part.
His latest goal has earned the youngster even more praise, particularly for the way he made it a difficult afternoon for the City defence. Van Gaal praised Rashford’s ability to run the channels but is aware of the younster’s age and with that comes inconsistency.
With Rashford earning praise from all over the country the inevitable question has been raised as to whether he could be a surprise call up for the England squad. His club manager has played down speculation linking him with Roy Hodgson’s squad, commenting that he did not “want to interfere.”
The Red Devils boss also stated that it is important not to exagerrate as Rashford continues to find his feet at the top level of English football.
With United facing a tough battle to break into the top four, Reds fans will hope Rashford continues his goalscoring form, and Van Gaal will need him too if he wishes to remain in the Old Trafford hotseat for next season.