Wayne Rooney is handling this whole being benched thing rather well.
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After telling reporters on Tuesday that he will get his head down and work hard to regain a starting spot at Manchester United, the captain of the Red Devils and the English national team has also praised 18-year-old Marcus Rashford.
Rashford is one of the main reasons Rooney’s lost his starting spot at United.
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After being thrown in at the deep end last season by Louis Van Gaal, Rashford’s rise has been the stuff of dreams.
The young striker has scored on his debut for Manchester United in the Europa League in February and then a few days later in the Premier League against Arsenal. He then scored on his debut for the England national team and went to EURO 2016 as part of the squad and his combination of instinctive finishing and fearless running from the flank has ripped opponents apart in the Premier League this season with three goals in five games thus far.
Speaking about Rashford, who is in England’s squad for their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, Rooney believes his teammate for club and country can go on to become one of the greats.
“I think Marcus is doing fantastic,” Rooney said. “He is probably one of the most exciting players in world football, young players, at the minute. I am sure if he keeps working hard and developing he’ll be a superstar in years to come.”
“It’s important with exciting young players that they get the rewards they deserve and I think he deserves it. He’s been fantastic since he got into the Manchester United squad and he’s carried that on again this season so he fully deserves his chance to be in the squad and to play. And I’m sure if he does that he will take his opportunity.”
Rashford is developing at a rapid rate for club and country and many expect him to start for the Three Lions in their qualifiers over the next week with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana injured.
Every step of the way so far the Mancunian striker has taken it all in his stride. For England’s all-time leading goalscorer to speak this highly of him, we know how highly his peers rate Rashford.
It’s tough to remember that last February few people knew who Rashford was. Now, at the age of 18, he’s a star for one of the biggest clubs in the world and for England. Whether it is out on the left flank or playing centrally, there seems to be plenty more to come from the youngster as he learns from Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and others at United.