Marcus Rashford has come third behind Paris Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele in the Golden Boy award for 2017.
The teenager, following an astronomical rise to prominence under Louis van Gaal back, finished second behind Renato Sanches in last year’s competition.
And he has continued to assert himself at the highest level, making more appearances than any other Manchester United player during Jose Mourinho’s first season at the club and netting seven goals already this season.
But he was somewhat unpredictably overshadowed by the extraterrestrial Mbappe, who claimed 291 points, and Dembele following his breakthrough year with Borussia Dortmund that saw him earn a move to Barcelona for €105m.
Mbappe and Dembele were always going to finish light years ahead of anybody. The explosive and sudden nature of their arrivals on the world stage was always going to catch the eye more than anything, but I would argue that what Rashford has achieved over the last year deserves the same level of adulation.
Rising to the top off a wave of momentum and avant-garde rawness is one thing; staying there and improving is an entirely different department altogether.
And this is what Rashford has done over the last year. He hasn’t stood still but rather evolved as a professional, bringing a palpable element of maturity to his game, and supporters will just hope to see it continue.