It was obvious that Marcus Rashford would establish himself as a “top player” at Manchester United such was his talent as a teenager, according to Jonny Evans.
Rashford, now 25, was a part of United’s famed youth academy from the age of nine and made his debut for the club in February 2016 when he scored twice in a 5-1 win against Danish club Midtjylland in a Europa League round-of-32 game.
Three days later he hit another brace to help United overcome Arsenal 3-2 in his first Premier League game.
Although he has only found the net once in six games so far this season, Rashford was a revelation in the 2022/23 campaign when he scored 30 goals in 56 appearances across all competitions. He also starred on the international scene, netting three times at the 2022 World Cup as England reached the quarter-finals in Qatar.
In total, Rashford has 124 goals in 368 appearances for The Red Devils.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday night, a game that will be shown live and exclusive in the UK on TNT Sports, Evans revealed that Rashford’s talent stood out from a young age.
Northern Ireland international Evans, 35, sealed a return to Old Trafford on a one-year deal in the summer after leaving for West Brom in 2015, having initially made 198 appearances for United.
“I don’t think I ever even trained with him but everyone was very aware of him,” began Evans in an exclusive interview with TNT Sports.
“I can actually remember watching a game just at the back of the canteen on the balcony, I think Rio [Ferdinand] was there and I think Marcus might have been only 13 or 14, he was playing in the left wing out there, and he was head and shoulders above everyone else, he really stood out in that match.
“You could just tell he was playing at a level and with a maturity, and obviously, his physical attributes, his speed and technique, that he was going to go on to become a top player at Manchester United, so it was no surprise.
“I think it was only maybe like a month or two after I left where he ended up making his debut against Arsenal when he got the two goals and kind of kick-started his United career.”
Like Rashford, Evans also came through the youth academy and made his senior debut for the club in 2007.
Naturally, Evans has fond memories of his early days at the club and believes his early footballing education at Carrington gave him the perfect platform to build a successful career in the game.
“It [the academy] is a tradition that they’re very proud of. Having come through the academy, you can definitely feel like everyone’s rooting for you,” Evans continued.
“Even when I was away from the club, people were still in contact and if I ever did come back to the club I knew they were following my career. The questions they asked, they knew everything about what was happening and they were doing that for every player that came through.
“It’s a real sort of bond there and players who had been away, had left and the other players that come to the academy who had left the club, and they say you always have that bond coming through a special club.
“Such an amazing education and even if you didn’t make it at the club or go on to play for Manchester United’s first team, that education that you had, you took out with you for the rest of your life no matter what you did.”
How to watch Burnley v Man Utd?
TNT Sports is available across all major TV platforms, offering a line-up of up to four TV channels (TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports 2, TNT Sports 3, TNT Sports 4), and up to six digital or red-button channels (TNT Sports 5 to 10), and TNT Sports Ultimate plus TNT Sports Box Office HD.
Burnley v Man Utd will be live on TNT Sports 1 and TNT Sports Ultimate with the coverage from 19:00 UK time on Saturday, September 23.
Source From: Eurosport – Top News – Football