Chris Smalling feels Marcus Rashford could become Manchester United’s all-time top goalscorer

by Leo Nieboer

Chris Smalling has backed Marcus Rashford to break Wayne Rooney‘s goal-scoring record at Manchester United, insisting there’s no stopping him in terms of what sort of records he could get.

Rooney equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s 43-year record of 249 club goals during Man United’s 4-0 win over Reading in the FA Cup last weekend with an eighth minute volley.

The 19-year-old, who made his debut less than a year ago, took his tally at United to 14 goals with a brace against Jaap Stam’s side.

And Smalling, speaking after the game, claimed that Rashford could also achieve an astronomical total if he remains injury-free and stays at Old Trafford.

“If he can stay injury-free, there’s no stopping him in terms of what sort of records he could get,” said Smalling.

“I think it’s good to put the pressure on him because he can handle it. He’s shown that. He’s gone from one level to the next level. He could have had more goals and he still ended up with two.

“He’s so down to earth.

“He is surrounded by a lot of his mates here so it helps that when it comes to this stage, it’s just another day for him. I hope he never changes, because he is such a great lad.”

Placing such a lofty expectation on a teenager is always dangerous. It is often easy to forget that Rashford has been in the first team for less than a year, making just 43 appearances (most of which either from the bench or out wide) so far.

That said, the fact that Rashford’s name is being mentioned in the same breath as both Rooney and Charlton serves as a monumental testament to the youngster’s shining brilliance and capacity to transcend the normal standards set for 19-year-olds in the modern game. Hunting for Rooney’s goal-record will prove to be difficult if the youngster continues to feature out wide, but United fans will hope to see Rashford take up a more central role once Zlatan Ibrahimovic decides to hang up his boots.

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