The rise of Marcus Rashford has been one of the major recent success stories at Manchester United and he is truly the most valuable player in the world.
In the latter stages of Jose Mourinho’s tenure, Marcus Rashford looked short of confidence, playing for a manager that lacked the patience to see his talent develop. The playing time he was already sharing with Anthony Martial diminished after Alexis Sanchez’s arrival, and there were even suggestions that he may need to go out on loan in search of minutes.
Two years later and Rashford is indispensable to this United team, and any comparisons with Kelechi Iheanacho are a distant memory. He has established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League, and is on his way to becoming one of the best players in the world.
MBE has now turned to MVP. Rashford’s work on the pitch has seen him named the most valuable footballer in the world according to CIES Football Observatory. At €165.6 million, the winger beat out the likes of Erling Haaland and Trent Alexander-Arnold to the top spot. That’s just for his football. If you were to add his heroic work off the pitch then there wouldn’t be a number high enough to measure his value.
So how did Rashford get to this point?
Well on the pitch, his ability is there for all to see. Since the start of last season, Rashford has scored 36 goals and assisted 19. His output is comparable to any player in his position, and is even more astounding considering he played much of the 19/20 season nursing a stress fracture in his lower back as well as an ankle injury.
He also has 40 England caps under his belt, scoring 11 goals in the process. Before United’s exit in the Champions League, Rashford was joint top scorer in the competition as well. Whether it’s at club level or on the international stage, he performs at the highest level.
As well as his output, his age is a major contributing factor. Although it may seem like the forward has been around forever, he’s only just turned 23. Given that you’d expect a player’s peak to come in their late twenties, you would expect him to get even better. Most of the players in the top ten of the CIES list are 23 or under (Bruno Fernandes and Raheem Sterling being the exceptions), which shows there’s value in youth and potential – both of which Rashford has in abundance.
In 2019, Rashford signed a new contract with United which expires in 2023, reportedly earning him close to £200,000 a week. These kind of figures only add to a player’s value, and should he sign another extension in the future you can only expect his value to rise.
Even if you take a step back from all the numbers, all you have to do is watch him play. Watching Marcus Rashford play football is fun! You can tell that he grew up watching the likes of Ronaldinho. This season, only Neymar has higher numbers when it comes to nutmegs. His direct style of play lends itself to great entertainment.
Whether he slips the ball through someone’s legs, pulls out a flip flap or sits a defender down – sometimes twice in the same move (just ask Brighton’s Ben White) – you expect something to happen when Rashford has the ball at his feet. There’s a reason why several players have named him as the best player they’ve played with or against.
Seeing Rashford flourish will be a source of great pride for every United fan. The best part is that he’s barely scratched the surface of what he’s capable of.