Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

‘There is no better player’ – Erik ten Hag compares Man Utd player to Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe is considered by many to be the best player in the world now and Marcus Rashford has been likened to the PSG star by Erik ten Hag.

The Manchester United manager believes Rashford can reach the same level as the France international.

Mbappe is the current top scorer at the World Cup, having become the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958 against Croatia four-and-a-half years ago.

Rashford claimed three goals for England in the group stage, becoming only the second United star to do so for the Three Lions at a World Cup after Sir Bobby Charlton in 1966.

Amid PSG’s interest in Rashford and the expectation Mbappe will leave the Parisians before his contract expires in 2024, Ten Hag likened Rashford to the World Cup winner.

“From the first moment, I recognised huge potential,” Ten Hag said of Rashford prior to England’s quarter-final defeat to France. “And now to get out the potential, I believe when Marcus’s positioning is on the back of the defending line, there is almost no better player in the world.

“There is Mbappe in this moment, a type like him. But when he (Rashford)’s getting in that position, he’s great and you see he’s really improved also out of possession.

“You see the second goal against Wales when he’s winning the ball for the team and then it was (Phil) Foden who finished and I see him do that all the time, the first press. He’s doing a really good job there for England.

“One of the first things I said to him was come to training and smile. We bring him exercises that hopefully bring players joy. They have to be effective but they have to be joyful as well and that gives you energy when you are happy. When you see the benefit of it you can be happy.

“Actually, Marcus was one from the start who came with a smile to Carrington and left with a smile day by day. And from the first moment, it really was a joy to work with him. I recognise his talent and his finishing talent [is] great.

“For instance, the headed goal against West Ham United, I don’t think he makes goals like that so often. But he’s investing in it, I triggered him a little bit, he worked with our specific coaches on it, on finishing with headers and then you see he got the benefit from it.

“So when I say he is the one who plays on the shoulder from the defending line, make sure you’re coming in such situations and it’s really difficult to stop him.”

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