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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Draws Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo Comparisons

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Marcus Rashford in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said it is "very easy to compare" Marcus Rashford in his current form with Cristiano Ronaldo when he was a Manchester United player. 

Rashford is coming of age in 2019-20. The 22-year-old has reached 10 goals for the Premier League season—previously his best return for an entire campaign—in 16 matches, and terrorised Manchester City on Saturday in United's 2-1 derby win at the Etihad Stadium:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Marcus Rashford (22 years & 37 days) is the youngest player across Europe’s top five leagues to score 10+ goals this season. Elite. 👏👏👏 https://t.co/NYbYCeTtZN

At 22, he is at an identical stage in his career as Ronaldo was when he enjoyed his first season of sustained excellence in 2006-07:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

It is a comparison that can be fair and unfair; Ronaldo had seven goals by this stage in his first world-class season. Rashford has 13 #mufc https://t.co/6kOL3kh9yB

Solskjaer can understand why comparisons have been drawn between the pair, but he warned against focusing too closely on Rashford's goal tally. He said:

"It's very easy to compare the two of them, yeah. Both with skills, body shape, attitude, attributes—everything. The boy has every chance in the world to become a top, top player. Let's hope he continues like this. I don't want to talk about the amount of goals. As long as he keeps being positive and being direct and thinking about getting in front of the goal and getting chances, he'll score goals."

Solskjaer put a huge amount of faith in Rashford when he sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan in the summer, leaving the Englishman with the responsibility to be the primary goalscorer at the club.

At the moment, the United academy graduate is repaying that faith. 

As well as netting in Saturday's win over Pep Guardiola's City, he also scored both goals in United's previous game, a 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur, to continue his remarkable form against the Premier League's top sides:

Scott Patterson @R_o_M

. @MarcusRashford Chelsea ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ Liverpool ⚽️⚽️⚽️ City ⚽️⚽️⚽️ Arsenal ⚽️⚽️ https://t.co/9sL1excYLs

The Red Devils' victories over Spurs and City inside a week have pushed them up to fifth in the table and hinted they could yet compete for the UEFA Champions League spots despite an indifferent start to the campaign:

Premier League @premierleague

Here's how the #PL table looks Can anybody catch Liverpool? 🤔 https://t.co/PIABunV9im

The United side Ronaldo was part of in 2006-07 went on to win the Premier League, and the Portuguese then netted 42 goals in all competitions in 2008-09 as Sir Alex Ferguson's side won a league and Champions League double.

A season later, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid for a then-world-record £80 million fee, where he won four more Champions League titles and scored 450 goals in nine seasons.

Rashford is unlikely to enjoy the same remarkable career trajectory Ronaldo has while establishing himself as one of the best players to ever kick a ball.

He is, though, starting to make good on his enormous potential and become the type of goalscorer United need if they are to compete for the top four again.