Best Winger In The World? Rashford's Recent Form Elevates Him To Mbappe's Level

Marcus Rashford scored again as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup
21:59, 25 Jan 2023

Name the best wingers in world football? 

Kylian Mbappe is number one, but Marcus Rashford’s recent form has shot him up the list and into second place. His opening goal against Nottingham Forest in a 3-0 win was a thing of beauty and now he’s scored ten goals in ten games since the World Cup. 

For Manchester United he’s become their most potent attacker. Their main man. In a hostile atmosphere on the banks of the River Trent, Rashford stepped up to the plate to burst Forest’s bubble. Just six minutes in, the Englishman picked the ball up on the left wing in his own half. 


All of a sudden, he was bearing down on goal as he drove inside a pair of Forest defenders. Joe Worrall was left looking like the invisible man as Rashford found a gap and then fired his finish into the near post with his left foot.  

His footwork was superb, but his presence on the pitch has really come on this season. It’s almost as if he has grown an extra two inches and put on an extra half stone of muscle. He’s seemingly leaner, quicker and stronger than he has ever been while his confidence is at an all-time high. It’s not outrageous to see the similarities between Rashford’s current playing style and that of his idol Cristiano Ronaldo, in his younger days at Old Trafford. 

Comparing Rashford to the likes of Mbappe, Vinicius Jr and Neymar may seem crazy - but Ten Hag has turned him into a monster. He’s the best he has ever been, and the Dutch boss has instilled a level of belief into him that no other manager has. Even league leaders Arsenal couldn’t deal with him as he scored one of the goals of the season at the Emirates this weekend. 

Only Erling Haaland (31) has scored more goals than Rashford (18) among Premier League players in all competitions this season but this month in particular has seen him reach new heights. The question for him now is, what can he do to become the best in the world?

The talent is there and he is playing for one of the best teams in the best league in the world, but two things need to happen. First, consistency. He needs to be averaging a goal a game not just for a month, but for the rest of the season and beyond. That’s the level he has set for himself and under Ten Hag, he can achieve that. 

Secondly, he needs to produce in big moments. Finals. Kylian Mbappe bagged a hat-trick in a World Cup final in December. Rashford was a bit-part player for England in the same tournament. With Gareth Southgate watching on tonight, that will change as we head towards Euro 2024, but he needs to produce for his country as well as regularly winning trophies for his club. 

Mbappe has set the standards so high, that there is no shame in falling just short of the Frenchman - who is surely a future Ballon d’Or winner. But if Rashford can consistently be better than Vinicius Jr, Mo Salah and Neymar, as he currently is - then he will have finally fulfilled his potential. 

Rashford will surely get the chance to show what he can do in a final as United are now just 90 minutes from Wembley after this comfortable 3-0 win. After the opener, Wout Weghorst got his first Manchester United goal just before the break with a tap-in after Antony’s volley was parried. That completely killed Forest’s potential comeback hopes and Bruno Fernandes fired one in from the edge of the box in the 90th minute to send Ten Hag to Wembley. 

This was a great night for Rashford and Manchester United, who are on the trophy hunt once again. If he keeps this form up, the Carabao Cup will be United's - and the numbers on that incoming contract offer will keep on rising. 

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