Manchester United have had a less than smooth ride since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, with over £1bn spent and little to show for it.
However, that’s not to say there hasn’t been some cause for celebration during these relatively trophy-barren years.
A player who embodies a certain period of these ‘good times’ is Marcus Rashford, the homegrown attacker who burst onto the scene as an 18-year-old with goals in Europe and a brace at Arsenal.
Currently struggling for form in statistically the worst ever Red Devils team in Premier League history, the Manchester-born magician was once a player that struck fear into the hearts of all defenders he faced.
The 2019/20 season saw his best form, where he recorded an astounding 26 goal contributions in 31 appearances in the league, however even in the season after he followed it up with a further 22 goal contributions.
It appeared that the world was finally getting the world-class superstar we were promised.
A career blighted by inconsistency appears to be the current story of the 24-year-old, but his rags to riches story captured the attention of all who became embroiled in it.
Three years ago former Premier League player Tony Cascarino suggested that Rashford had all the abilities to reach the very top: “With the pace and threat he possesses he could become as valuable as Kylian Mbappe.”
His former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who oversaw the two outstanding seasons mentioned earlier, also was full of praise for the Mancunian: “He runs in behind, he comes short, he can play a pass, he’s got individual skills. So, Marcus has got all the attributes to be a top forward.”
As an academy graduate, the £200k-per-week attacker will have cost United nothing. However, as his performances improved so too did his Transfermarkt valuation.
In 2016, he was rated at just £2.7m. Now, however, even despite last season’s poor form, the England international is now rated at a whopping £54m. The pinnacle of his career actually saw him worth £76.5m back over 2021.
From his initial emergence to today, this valuation increase marks an astounding 1900% increase.
Although he stumbled last season in a search for consistency, the two seasons that came before should be enough proof that Rashford can be the man to take Manchester United back to the top, especially as reporter Rich Fay once dubbed him a “joy to watch”.
Everybody loves a homegrown talent tearing it up at their boyhood club, and if he can recapture any of his form from between 2019 and 2021, then Old Trafford will rejoice in the return of their potential messiah.