Marcus Rashford..

Marcus Rashford's first Manchester United idol was a very random player

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There are few young talents in world football quite like Marcus Rashford, there's no two ways about it.

When the Englishman burst onto the scene with braces against Midtjylland and Arsenal in March 2016, few expected him to maintain his mercurial start to life at Manchester United. Nearly two full seasons down the line and he's done just that.

The 2016-17 campaign flirted with symptoms of second season syndrome but Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury opened a chance for Rashford to catch Jose Mourinho's eye and he grabbed it with both hands.

He entered the summer in scintillating form and has finished where he left off in 2017-18, already amassing seven goals and four assists despite furious competition with the in-form Anthony Martial.

And Rashford admitted last week that his first hero in football was none other than Brazilian Ronaldo as he recalled seeing him score a hat-trick at Old Trafford for Real Madrid.

He explained: "It was in 2003. He scored a hat-trick. I was only young though. I was five. He was my brother's favourite player, that's why I've grown up watching so much of him and his games.

"He always played free. No matter where he was playing, he played free and went out there and expressed himself. When you do that, that's when you play your best football.

"When you're young you watch clips of the best players in the world and try to emulate them, so it just tends to happen naturally."

Too right, Marcus. 

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League

That being said, for all of Ronaldo's club switching during his career, he never pulled on a Manchester United so who is the 20-year-old's hero from Old Trafford?

Well, let's just say it isn't quite as orthodox as Ronaldo.

During his first season at youth club Fletcher Moss Rangers, where he played between 2003 and 2005, he admitted that Tim Howard was the player he idolised at nearby United. Yes really.

Rashford explained: "My first season [at Fletcher Moss] I went in net. The thrill of scoring a goal, you get the same thrill when you save a good chance.

"Howard was my idol. I used to have a little Tim Howard shirt. You watch, there'll be a game [when he is called upon to go in goal]. I'm going to get the gloves one day!"

Tim Howard of Manchester United

Rashford will probably find it a little easier to grab himself some Howard gloves now, even if the ex-United shot stopper now takes up residence with the Colorado Rapids.

It's probably not a bad thing that Rashford decided to give up on his foray into goalkeeping, mind.

Do you think Marcus Rashford makes it into United's strongest XI? Have your say in the comments section below.

Manchester United
Marcus Rashford

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