If there is one thing that can be safely predicted about the Premier League so early in the season, it is probably that the title will end up in the city of Manchester. Both clubs have made a scintillating start to the new campaign and look like the sides that will take some serious stopping.
While both teams are joint-top in the Premier League table at the moment, it is probably Manchester United that can be proud of playing more beautiful football of the two right now. Mourinho’s men are unbeaten so far, and look menacing to say the least. While the defence and midfield are as solid as ever, it is the attacking third display that is catching the eye of the world watching.
Star striker Romelu Lukaku has been banging in the goals just as he was bought to do, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s assists adding a bit of ease to that particular task. However, there are two other names that have stepped up to the platform this season and are turning the team into genuine title contenders.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have been mightily impressive for the club this season, and despite competition between the duo, their best is oozing out with each passing performance. Be it coming off the bench or doing it from the starting whistle, both have been highly effective while tearing down the wings.
With age on their side, qualities and capabilities galore, and the fans in love with the way they play, there is certainly a big future awaiting them at Old Trafford in the years to come. Although, with similar roles to play and having to share game time because of that, one does question how long will things be as smooth as they are currently. Eventually, there will come a day that will see one being favoured over the other, and if Mourinho is the man that makes the decision, what will it be?
Both the players can be compared in a lot of ways, and there might not be too much to separate them, but here are the factors that can come into consideration while choosing which one has the better chances of becoming Old Trafford’s exciting future:
Both the lads are young and entering their prime. Despite being so inexperienced, they surely do know how to bully their way around those that come to stop them. Be it on the ball or off it, Martial does come out as someone tad bit stronger. However, Rashford is not far behind, and a few extra days in the gym will see him buff up soon.
Dribbling and Pace
Manchester United’s left wing is currently a force no opposition would want to come in the way of. Both Rashford and Martial have been lightning fast and direct with the ball at their feet, and that has led them to being super successful so far.
While Martial prefers cutting to his right and taking a shot, Rashford does provide an extra bit of versatility with his dribbling skills. When it comes to sprinting, the Englishman does have an advantage with his mind blowing pace – a huge compliment, given how fast Martial himself is. The differences are of fine margins, and while Rashford does boast about more successful dribbles so far, his extra minutes played certainly serve as an added factor in that.
Goals and Assists
It is not only the pace and young energy that both players bring into the side, but also the successful scoring of goals and link up play with teammates that make them the sensation they are. Both the lads burst onto the United scene with Martial scoring spectacularly against arch-rivals Liverpool, and the other banging in two goals during his Europa League debut.
Louis van Gaal can be given the whole lot of credit for bringing these names into the team and gracing the fans with quality they had never heard or seen of before. Ever since their initial goals, there has been no looking back for either of the two, as the goals have been constantly raining in.
Martial has made 80 appearances for his side so far, and found the back of the net 22 times already, while his competitor-cum-friend has worn the United jersey 63 times and scored 16 already. In terms of assists, the French forward leads the race with 11 so far, compared to Rashford’s 6. Neck and neck to say the least.
Apart from the following stats and figures, there are a number of other reasons that can be given a look into, in order to predict which of these two names will be an Old Trafford legend many years down the line.
As England seem desperate to find a goal-scorer to carry forward and aim for Rooney’s record in the future, it serves as the perfect time for Rashford to step up to the plate and do the job. The player has already started becoming a star for his country, and great things can be predicted for him in that particular arena.
Martial, however, faces a tougher task, as France are a side filled with superstars waiting to make it big. Griezmann, Mbappe, Dembele, Coman, Lacazette, and Giroud are some of the names that consist of the French attacking line up, and fitting in among these is a task for any player out there.
Another huge point that stands out is that while the French winger was brought in from Monaco, Rashford was raised and risen through the Manchester United ranks. A local hero among the supporters, and knowing everything there is about the club, Marcus does stand a better chance of finishing things where he started.
If asked, the fans and manager would want both these young starlets to work in tandem and join hands in guiding Manchester United back to the top. But the world of football is a little more complicated than that, and if ever Mourinho has to pick one to lead the way, it will be one of the toughest choices in his career so far.
Who’s your pick?
Written by Vikram Gupta
An attacker with his words, and defends each of them with pride. A love for the game which goes hand in hand with his will to forever write. A graduate in the course of advertising and a hopeful to be author. Herrera for the win.