Football

Rashford as good as Mbappe, says Neville

Teen forward says his rivalry with Martial has brought the best out of them

Marcus Rashford is in the same category as multi-million pound stars Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, said former Manchester United defender Phil Neville.

Rashford racked up a brace and an assist to help a second-string United side defeat Burton 4-1 in a third-round League Cup clash yesterday morning (Singapore time), taking his club tally to five goals in eight appearances.

Sky Sports pundit Neville believes the 19-year-old Englishman belongs to the £100-million (S$183 million) bracket, like Barcelona's Dembele and Paris Saint-Germain's Mbappe.

Said Neville: "Everybody praises Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe but nobody talks about Rashford in this country.

"Rashford is in the same bracket as those two - £100m-£150m players - he is every bit as good as those two and can be in the future because he is improving every season.

"He broke in under Louis van Gaal and set the world on fire.

"In his second season under Jose Mourinho, everyone thought he wouldn't play, but he did in all the big games.

"Now he is adding goals to his game and he can be absolutely world-class."

Rashford opened accounts for United after just five minutes by chipping the ball past Burton goalkeeper Connor Ripley, following a flick-on by Jesse Lingard.

He scored his second goal 12 minutes later, firing in a rocket from outside the box, which even earned applause from chief striker Romelu Lukaku, an unused substitute.

Lingard (36th) and Anthony Martial (60th) made it 4-0 before Lloyd Dyer scored a consolation goal for Burton in injury time.

Martial is also in a rich vein of form, with four goals in seven games. This was also the fourth time that United had scored four goals in a game this season.

Rashford revealed that his personal duel with Martial has brought the best out of both players, reported the Daily Mirror.

Said Rashford: "It's difficult when you're in and out of the team, but we have to find the positives out of it and I think we've both done that.

"I think the competition is always positive competition because we're improving each other every day when we're in training and in the games.

"We're pushing each other more and more. It's a bit of a headache for the manager, but it's a good headache for him to have."

Neville believes a tweak in position will help Rashford bring his game to another level.

He said: "Over the last two seasons, Rashford has played most of his football on the left-hand side but, as a centre forward, I think he can be a superstar.

"I think we underestimate him in this country. I don't think we realised how good he could be as a centre forward." - WIRE SERVICES

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