Football

Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney..

Wayne Rooney has passed on some Alex Ferguson wisdom to Marcus Rashford

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Marcus Rashford is the gift that keeps on giving at Manchester United.

It's approaching two years now since the young striker burst onto the scene with braces against Midtjylland and Arsenal, yet the excitement around the 20-year-old continues to climb.

Recent seasons have shown a new side to Rashford, too - his resilience. 

The Englishman had looked to have picked up 'second season syndrome' under Jose Mourinho, only to take his chance in the place of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with both hands.

And now in his third campaign, Rashford is in better form than ever with 11 goals, five assists and a place ahead of the equally in-form Anthony Martial.

The moral of story being that Manchester United have quite the player on their hands and there's certainly reason to draw comparisons to the quick success of a young Wayne Rooney.

Moving from Everton to Old Trafford in 2004 in his teens, Rooney didn't waste time impressing with a hat-trick on his debut in a spell that concluded with him as the club's all time top scorer.

Rashford and Rooney's eras briefly collided for 18 months but the latter, back full firing with Everton, has kept a keen eye on his compatriot and even had some advice for the 20-year-old this week.

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In an interview with talkSPORT, the ex-England captain drew on an exchange with Sir Alex Ferguson during his early United days that he thinks is all too applicable for Rashford.

"Sometimes, early on in my career I was working too hard tracking back and Alex Ferguson sat me down," he said.

"It does affect when you're in the opponents' box. You're a bit leggy. Alex Ferguson told me not to do so much work and be ready for when we get chances.

"I feel with Rashford it's maybe a bit of the same. You see him going back into the full-back areas.

"It's great he's got that enthusiasm but, to get the best out of him going forward, he maybe needs to let the defenders and the midfielders do it."

To be fair to Rooney, he raises an excellent point here.

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Such are the demands of Jose Mourinho's set-ups that Rashford has sometimes been handed gruelling defensive responsibilities. For example, he was found in positions you'd expect from a full-back at Anfield last season.

So, it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world to listen to his old captain but, sadly, it's hard to see Mourinho proving as forgiving and accommodating as the omnipotent Ferguson.

Do you think Marcus Rashford will overtake Rooney's record in the future? Have your say in the comments section below.

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