Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck may be at different stages of their careers, but that isn’t to say they are worlds apart. Welbeck represents Premier League maturity whilst Rashford is one of the Premier League’s most glorified players.
At just 19-years-old, Marcus Rashford has bagged four major honours for Manchester United. These include an FA Cup title, Europa League title, the EFL Cup – or whatever it’s called – and the Community Shield (yes, Jose, we will count it the latter as a major honour).
And, it isn’t as if Rashford is warming the bench for United. Instead, he has played in 80 matches for the Red Devils, scoring 24 goals.
On the other hand, Welbeck has bags more of experience than Rashford. The 26-year-old joined the Gunners from United back in 2014 for what seemed a logical move with the Englishman down the striking pecking order at Old Trafford.
However, that is not to say Welbeck isn’t a high-quality player. In football, players move from club to club due to circumstance more often than not. The reason Rashford received his first opportunity at United was due to injuries to other key players and belief from the manager.
Thus, it must be stressed that Welbeck’s move away from Old Trafford does not mean Rashford is a higher quality player. Indeed, he may well evolve into a world-class talent. But, for now, Welbeck represents Premier League experience whilst Rashford represents potential.
Moreover, Welbeck has, since his move to Arsenal, proved that he is a high-quality player. For Arsene Wenger’s side, he has adapted his game to play in a whole host of positions to help the team.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 20, 2017
For instance, he can play on both wing positions whilst also being able to play as a centre-forward. In being able to do this, Welbeck is far superior to Rashford in the sense that he can play several positions.
In contrast, Rashford is largely limited to his role as a left forward. True, he excels in this position. However, such over-exuberant glorification of Rashford’s only position may limit his personal development.
Instead, Rashford’s key development over the next few years will be in a positional sense. Like Welbeck, the 19-year-old should aim to carve out an expertise in a variety of positions. His pace and dribbling attributes cannot be faulted – such qualities terrify defenders on a weekly basis.
Therefore, it would seem logical for Rashford to emulate Welbeck’s positional development. It has happened far too many times where young English talent fails to deliver. And, such glorification of Rashford could be a danger; if he is to develop a variety of positions, he may well have a chance to fulfill his entire potential.
Marcus Rashford's debuts:
FA Cup: ⚽️
League Cup: ⚽️
England U21: ⚽️⚽️⚽️
Incredible ??? pic.twitter.com/zqAdak6pv0
— SPORF (@Sporf) September 12, 2017
Both Manchester-born forwards harbour tremendous pace as well as close ball control. It may well be said that Rashford is a more clinical striker; but both are very similar.
As a result, both Rashford and Welbeck have similar impacts on games; their aforementioned pace can not only frighten defences but also tear them apart. The pair of them, too, share a level of determination and hard work that is only in top players.
Nevertheless, Rashford still has masses of potential, given his age. It is only hypothetically that one can predict the future of youngster. But, based on his current form and attributes, Rashford has the makings of a top quality player.
Top football pundits have recently stated that Rashford should be mentioned in the same bracket as Oussmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe. Given, the 19-year-old is showing similar attributes. However, fans should be reminded about the forward’s extremely young age.
As a consequence, whilst fans may get excited about such a potential – it is still only potential, not guaranteed goals. Rashford, for now, maybe a glorified version of Danny Welbeck; but that isn’t a criticism.
Their playing styles represent very similar pictures right now. True, Rashford may one day surpass that but nothing in football is certain.
To conclude, fans must appreciate the individual qualities of both players. Rashford is showing more promise than a 19-year-old Welbeck, but that doesn’t mean he will be a better-finished product.
Such glorification of Rashford should be tamed in order to allow the youngster to fulfill his complete potential. Whether that is a higher level than Welbeck remains to be seen, but comparisons between the two should be no insult to Rashford.