Marcus Rashford’s commitment and professionalism at Manchester United reminds Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared Manchester United’s current strike force to the combination of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez as he hailed the versatility of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James.
Rashford and Martial were on target as United beat Manchester City in last weekend’s derby at the Etihad Stadium, and Solskjaer believes the young England forward is showing signs he can follow in the footsteps of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo.
Solskjaer and Ronaldo spent four years together as players at Old Trafford, before the Norwegian worked with his former team-mate as a forwards coach, and few people are better placed to compare the Juventus star with Rashford.
Speaking about the fluid movement and interchanging positional play of Rashford, Martial and James, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “I think that’s a big strength of ours as a team.
“If Marcus runs in behind, Anthony will get some space because it stretches the opponent. It can be the opposite way around too, with Anthony and Dan running in behind and Marcus coming to feet to get on the ball.
“I see this attack as being quite similar to the one we had with Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, with the interchanging of positions and the fast, flowing football.”
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Under Solskjaer, Rashford has equalled his best Premier League goal return in a single season within the first half of the 2019-20 campaign.
Rashford’s 10th league goal of the season came from the penalty spot against City and Solskjaer praised the 22-year-old’s versatility while drawing comparisons with Ronaldo, who played on the wing and as a striker during his time in Manchester.
“Of course it’s hard to say with certainty that he’s going to be as good as Cristiano, but you can see the similarities more and more in terms of Marcus’ traits on the pitch,” said Solskjaer.
“He can play through the middle, he can play as a number nine, he can cut inside from the left and finish. He can even play on the right, as Cristiano did when he came here. He’s got the same physical stature and more or less all of his attributes are very, very similar. Even their stats are similar, in terms of goals scored after a certain amount of games.”
“You have to remember that, as well as playing with Cristiano, I coached him in my first year as a forwards coach here,” he added.
“Both players are very professional, very dedicated, very in love with football. And you can see that Marcus is getting more of a taste for that now, both with us and with England. He is pushing himself and seeing the results.”