Marcus Rashford’s sixth goal in 11 senior appearances for Manchester United sparked suggestions the 18-year-old could emulate a teenage Michael Owen’s impact for England at the 1998 World Cup at Euro 2016 this summer.
BBC summariser Martin Keown was enthused enough with his all round performance to award the youngster man of the match in the FA Cup quarter-final replay against West Ham last night.
Meanwhile, fellow pundit Danny Mills talked up the teen as a potential alternative to Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge in Roy Hodgson’s squad (he is currently 9/1 to be called up for the Euros).
“He hasn’t got that much less international experience than Jamie Vardy – Michael Owen didn’t do too badly when he was inexperienced at the 1998 World Cup,” Mills told Radio Five Live.
“He’s in great form. Why not take him as a substitute over the likes of Daniel Sturridge?”
Rashford’s form is not just great, but, in terms of goals per game over the campaign preceding his potential debut tournament, slightly superior to an 18-year-old Owen in the build up to France ’98.
In his first full season at Liverpool the former England man struck 23 times in 44 appearances across all competitions at an average of 1.91 matches per goal.
Since bagging twice on his debut in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland, Rashford had found the net every 1.83 matches.
Bare minutes played per goal scored during their respective breakout campaigns put the United youth ahead of his Anfield-schooled counterpart too (144 – 159).
Needless to say, Owen sustained his rate of net finding over the course of a full season of commitments across multiple fronts in 1997/98, whereas Rashford has played just a quarter of the games the former managed that season.
Yet, the Old Trafford club’s homegrown striking sensation still has either seven or eight games ahead of him before the season is out to prove his worth to Roy Hodgson.
The Reds host traumatised Premier League punchbags Aston Villa this weekend, offering Rashford further opportunity to improve his numbers and bwin make him 19/20 favourite to find the net at any point in the fixture.