Nicky Butt opens up on Marcus Rashford’s impressive start at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt has been discussing Marcus Rashford‘s excellent start to life at Manchester United.

Rashford’s debut in the first-team came when the 18-year-old was thrown into the starting line-up for Man United’s Europa League tie with FC Midtjylland after Anthony Martial pulled up in the warm-up.

The youngster netted a match-winning brace, announcing himself to the world in emphatic style, and has since gone on to score 12 goals in 27 games for the senior side.

Butt, who, as an academy coach, witnessed Rashford’s development long before he broke into the first-team, was full of adulation for the 18-year-old.

“He’s started off on fire,” he said.

“At 18 years of age, representing England, playing regularly for Manchester United, it’s a massive accolade for him and he doesn’t need me to big him up.

“His football speaks for itself, but as a person he’s a really good person and someone that we want to be our shining light.

“He’s someone we want to put in front of people and say ‘this is the kind of people we create in our academy’.

“He’s respectful, he speaks to the press in the right way, he represents what we believe is right for young players coming through – that’s the most important thing for us.”

One thing often said about Rashford is how simple his ascension to stardom has been. Some players slave away for years, make regular appearances for high profile clubs, and still don’t receive a quarter of the international recognition garnered by 18-year-old, whose career up to date resembles that of a computer game as opposed to an actual footballing career.

It should be noted, however, that an immense level of work has gone into this apparently seamless rise to fame. Rashford did, after all, manage to hold down his place in the starting XI following his debut – ensuring that his story does not replicate, say, that of Federico Macheda. More remarkably, the youngster, after being initially consigned to the bench during the early days of Mourinho’s reign, has forced his way back into the starting XI, and is now an indispensable asset at Old Trafford.

How long, I wonder, will it take for Rashford to make the same kind of impact on the national side?

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