Manchester United have a rich history of bringing fledgling talents through their youth system and propelling them to first-team honours, especially under the two greatest managers in the club’s history, Sir Matt Busby, and Sir Alex Ferguson.
The likes of Bobby Charlton, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, and Paul Scholes have all progressed through the ranks and there have been hundreds before and after do the same.
There have been a few since Ferguson retired in 2013, with United arguably having one of the most profitable players in their first-team squad emerging under Louis van Gaal back in 2016…
In February 2016, having starred in the club’s youth system since making his debut in 2014, he started for the first time ahead of United’s Europa League clash with FC Midtjylland and it was a debut to remember under the Old Trafford floodlights for the 18-year-old.
He scored twice, introducing himself to the United faithful as the next big thing to come from the youth ranks, and went on to score another six goals that season. Rashford even made the England squad for the 2016 European Championship that summer.
Under Jose Mourinho the very next campaign, he added Europa League and League Cup winner’s medals to an FA Cup triumph the season before and it looked like he was the player who could spearhead a new generation at the club and lead them to glory.
Five years later and the club are still waiting on another trophy, while Rashford has since scored a further 79 goals to no avail.
Paris Saint-Germain showed interest in the player during the summer and with his current value sitting at €50m (£43m) according to the CIES Football Observatory, if the club does decide to sell him, Erik ten Hag could make massive money, especially considering he came through the youth system.
His future remains to be seen and has started this season positively, scoring five goals and grabbing three assists as United adapt to a new era under the Dutchman.
Manchester Evening News writer Rich Fay once dubbed the 24-year-old “a joy to watch” and he could continue to star at the club, although the question is if a big-money bid comes in from PSG or another European heavyweight, does Ten Hag take it? Only time will tell.
Whatever happens, though, the £200k-per-week star – who now harbours ambitions of a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad – will make United a fortune.