Rio Ferdinand believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be focusing his Manchester United rebuild around Marcus Rashford.
Rashford had become Solskjaer’s talisman for the Reds this season before a serious back injury halted his progress in January.
The England international was enjoying the best goalscoring spell of his career before suffering a double stress fracture in his back in the FA Cup replay against Wolves at Old Trafford.
He netted 14 goals in 22 Premier League games and was firmly in the competition to win the golden boot award before his injury setback.
United’s best form of the season has come without Rashford, with Solskjaer’s men going unbeaten in eleven before the coronavirus pandemic put an indefinite suspension on English football.
But Ferdinand has heaped praise on the academy graduate, and has compared his impact to that of Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.
“From a kid, I’ve seen him play, whether it was up front or wide, or drifting about, he’s always had mad talent and Man United have always known.
“It’s whether you can translate that to being in the first-team and he’s shown he can do that. He’s just been unfortunate he’s been in a team that’s been in transition ever since he’s been in the first-team.
“It’s very different to, say, Mbappe coming into a Paris Saint-Germain team that’s going to win it every year, fighting for trophies on all fronts, the confidence levels are there, there’s no finding out period with any of the players there. They’re a consistent, well-oiled machine in their league and that league’s not as hard either, but Mbappe’s major.
“It seems like Ole was getting the consistency in the squad and that was when [Rashford] wasn’t playing, which was the disappointing part. So fingers crossed, if he can get back to normal he can get back to some consistency and they can start trying to get back to the heights of where Man United were at before. And then I think we’ll see more from Marcus, because if I’m Man United I’m building it all around him.”
There is little doubt that Rashford will play a key role as Solskjaer begins to shape his rebuild at the club.
The 22-year-old has found his home in the inside left position this season where he has built a promising partnership with Anthony Martial. He would benefit even more with the addition of Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho on the right-flank.