Marcus Rashford: Who is Manchester United's exciting young striker who scored twice against Midtjylland?

Who exactly is this exciting young striker?

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The Independent Football

Teenage striker Marcus Rashford exploded onto the scene last night, scoring twice in Manchester United’s 5-1 win over Midtjylland despite it being his first senior appearance.

The 18-year-old came into the starting line-up after Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up. His name was not even listed under the squad list on United’s programme.

So, who exactly is this exciting young upstart?

Marcus Rashford

Date of birth: 31 October 1997 (18 years old)
Place of birth: Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester
Position: Striker

Early career

Rashford signed for United in 2014, turning down the chance to sign for rivals Manchester City.

He had been spotted while playing for Fletcher Moss juniors’ football club, which also gave birth to the careers of Wes Brown, Danny Welbeck, Ravel Morrison, Kyle Bartley and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

He was not initially thought of as an out-and-out striker, more of a wide forward, but gradually grew into the role as he progressed through United’s youth ranks.

Youth team record

Rashford was the club’s top scorer in last year’s under-18s side with 13 goals and made his debut for the reserve side in a Lancashire Senior Cup tie against Rochdale.

Before the MIdtyjlland game, his career highlight was an impressive showing against PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Youth League, scoring twice with one coming from the penalty spot.

His first reserve team goal came in a 6-1 win over Leicester City before Christmas. By then, he had already featured in first-team matchday squads for meetings with Watford and Leicester, thanks in part to United’s rotten injury record.

What people say

"Marcus is explosive, he’s a very talented boy but a good, hard worker as well. He’s a good lad to have in the side because he puts a shift in for the team. He’s explosive and he scores goals." – Nicky Butt, Manchester United academy director

"One we saw starting to emerge as he grew into his body more was Marcus Rashford. He put some exciting parts of games together and we saw some exciting things. He's emerging and starting to do more." – Paul McGuinness, former Manchester United under-18s manager

“This club is all about bring young players through [and] we've seen a special debut and hopefully his career will kick on from here. It was worrying at the start of the game [when Martial couldn't play] because he's a top centre forward. But for Rashford that's what it's all about coming in and taking your chances. There were two good goals. He showed awareness and they two proper centre forward goals.” – Paul Scholes, former Manchester United midfielder

“It was unbelievable. In the first half he ran too much at the sidelines. I said to him at half-time that he had to be in the width of the goal and then he shall score. You see there that he scores two goals. It is fantastic for him.” – Louis van Gaal, Manchester United manager