Manchester United debutant Marcus Rashford smashed a club record that had stood for 51 years when he netted a brace in the colourful 5-1 win against FC Midtjylland in the second leg of the Europa Cup round of 32 match played at Old Trafford late night.
Best was 18 years and 158 days when he set the record in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in October 1964 against Swedish side Djurgarden but at 18 years and 117 days, Rashford has become United’s youngest goalscorer in all European competitions.
And that has left current manager Louis van Gaal blushing, he said: “He was unbelievable scoring twice in his very first match. It’s fantastic for him.
“I felt the boy ran around too much in the first half and I said to him at half-time that he if he concentrated on standing between the goal’s width he would score.
“It was a great performance by him and the team, especially as we went behind.”
Rashford plays with an energy level that can be compared to a young Wayne Rooney but has the predatory instincts of Ruud van Nistelrooy who tormented defenses with his great positional play and goal scoring prowess.
However, Rashford will share the memories of scoring on big European nights with Captain Wayne Rooney who also netted on his debut but his was a hat-trick against Turkish giants Fenerbahçe in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Rooney was 18 years 335 days at the time, 28 September 2004 and was quoted by UEFA.com as saying: “To score a hat-trick on your debut in the Champions League was a great feeling.”
The future is bright for Rashford and he can cease the opponent in the injury ravage Manchester United side as they battle for a place in the top four for next season and try to win the UEFA Europa League for the first time in the modern era.
Rashford may well make the team to face Arsenal on Sunday as Wayne Rooney is out injured and Anthony Martial is doubtful. Maybe it is time for a new hero at Old Trafford – a local boy with the Red Devils crest in his heart.