Former Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke believes that Marcus Rashford will be one of the world’s best players once he develops into a “complete player”.
The 23-year-old celebrated five years as a senior United player on Wednesday, following his explosive 2016 debut.
Rashford netted twice in the Europa League against Midtjylland and has since enjoyed a dramatic rise to stardom.
Not only has the striker become vital at United, but he is also key in Gareth Southgate’s England set-up.
Nevertheless, room for improvement remains, especially with fresh talk over who will become the favourites for the Ballon d’Or amid Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s grip on the prize fading.
Borussia Dortmund marksman Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain counterpart Kylian Mbappe look strong contenders. However, Yorke feels that Rashford could stake a claim if he continues to improve.
“Absolutely. [Rashford] is certainly in the bracket of Mbappe,” Yorke told ESPN.
“The likes of [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo are a different level, but Marcus is certainly one for the future in terms of being one of the best players in the world, if he keeps working hard and developing his football.
“We haven’t seen the best of Rashford yet. I think that if we give him another couple of years and let him learn the ins and outs of the game a little bit more, he will only get better.
“I consider that he is still in that educational part, so he has another couple of years before he develops into the complete player.”
Rashford has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season. That tally puts him only four behind last season’s total, which is his career-best to date.
Yorke added that Rashford needs time to continue on his upward trajectory to become a world star.
Rashford needs consistency
“Marcus is being Marcus, and you just see a young man who loves playing football and has unbelievable ability,” the ex-forward said.
“He has an eye for goal and all the other attributes you look for in a striker: He’s quick, he can go past people, he can create, he can score. He does all of that.
“We just need to allow him to enjoy it and produce that consistency. He is still in the development stage and people should just allow him to express himself so that, eventually, we’ll see an even better Rashford.”
In any case, Rashford has already proved his human qualities off the field, with his campaigns over child poverty and free school meals in recent months.