Gary Neville: Marcus Rashford is playing without fear at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United full-back Gary Neville has heaped praise on Marcus Rashford, claiming the youngster plays without fear.

The 18-year-old was initially consigned to the bench during the early stages of Jose Mourinho’s reign at Old Trafford, leading to his exclusion from Sam Allardyce’s first (and last) England squad.

However, ever since his outstanding cameo from the bench away to Hull City, Rashford has cemented himself in the Portuguese’s starting XI.

Reflecting on the Rashford short career, Neville lauded the Englishman’s fearlessness.

Marcus Rashford is playing without fear,” he said.

“We suggested when Jose Mourinho came in that he wouldn’t play. He got his chance last season and he is getting it this season. I’d say take it.

“He impressed under Louis van Gaal last season and he now needs to impress Jose Mourinho. He doesn’t need to stay in the team for 10 games but 10 seasons. He needs to score 20 goals a season.

“He should think about going for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s place up front as well. He should go for it now. He is in the team and Wayne Rooney has been left out.”

There are innumerable aspects of Rashford’s game that one can praise: immense speed, superb control, composure in front of goal, positional knowhow, strength. At just 18, Rashford has already mastered things that many struggle to do throughout their career.

But what underpins all of these attributes, above anything, is a complete lack of fear. The youngster, since bursting on to the world’s spotlight in February, hasn’t received any setbacks in terms of either form or injury, and as a result has no regard for the catalogue of dangers presented by the beautiful game.

In this sense, Rashford is something of an anomaly – someone who just plays, merely focusing on decimating defenders. It truly is a wonderful sight.

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