Owen Hargreaves: Marcus Rashford bigger and better than Wayne Rooney

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes Marcus Rashford is bigger and better than captain Wayne Rooney.

The 18-year-old, despite being initially consigned to the bench during the early stages of the season, has quickly established himself as an indispensable component of Jose Mourinho’s starting XI.

Rooney, however, has gone the other way: a seemingly undroppable asset at the start of the season, but now consigned to the bench, with his last Premier League start dating back to September 18th.

Hargreaves was quick to praise Rashford, labelling the youngster as a bigger and quicker asset than Rooney.

“I can see some comparisons with Wayne Rooney when he first broke through,” he said. 

“They are different players but in terms of impact, I can see similarities between them at the same age.

“I think Wazza was a better footballer technically because he was like Gazza in tight areas. Rashford is more of an athlete, he’s bigger and quicker over distances.

“I love him. His enthusiasm and fearlessness is infectious. He’s always looking to get on the ball and take on the defender and I love that. He’s always trying to make something happen. The kid is something special.”

The differences between Rooney and Rashford could not be more glaring: after all, Rooney, now 31-years-old, approaches the end of his career, and his body language on the pitch reveals a man who knows that, deep down, his spark has gone.

Rashford, however, is just getting started: every performance, every action on the pitch, is characterised by a complete sense of fearlessness. Implicit in the Englishman’s game, above anything, is an insatiable desire to batter the opponent into painful submission. There is no nuance with Rashford, no reservation. The modus operandi is simple – to throw absolutely everything at the opponent, and see if they can hold out.

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