Teenage striker Marcus Rashford is a "special talent", says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal. The 18-year-old marked his Premier League debut with two goals in three minutes as United beat Arsenal 3-2. Rashford also scored twice on his first-team debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday. Van Gaal said: "Youngsters often play well in the first match. The second is different. Marcus played well in both so he is a special talent."
The former Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich boss said Rashford's debut compared favourably with those by some of football's biggest stars, namely Patrick Kluivert, Xavi and Thomas Muller. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was also impressed by the youngster. He said he was surprised by Rashford's "movement and his intelligence", adding: "He could be a very positive surprise for Manchester United."
Having scored four goals in his first two senior games, Rashford used the word "crazy" to describe his introduction to United's first team. "This is my first game in the Premier League so obviously it's been amazing, and to score two has been a bonus. So hopefully we can carry it on and go again the next game. It was a shock playing midweek as well, because [Anthony] Martial was meant to be starting, and then I was coming in. But that maybe benefited me because I wasn't thinking about the game too much, so it's been good. It's just crazy," he told Sky Sports.
Rashford topped the scoring charts for United's Under-18s last year, with 13 goals in 25 starts. Before his recent heroics, he was an unused substitute in the 2-1 win at Watford on 21 November and in the draw at Leicester the following weekend. He is one of a number of players who have gone on to play professionally after turning out for local youth club Fletcher Moss Rangers. Wes Brown, Danny Welbeck and Ravel Morrison all represented the team in their junior years, while United team-mates Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Tyler Blackett are also ex-Fletcher Moss players.