Marcus Rashford’s Premier League debut against Arsenal under Louis Van Gaal was a bit like opening an early birthday present for Manchester United fans.
The club had progressed through one of the greatest transition periods in the last thirty years. With Sir Alex Ferguson gone the squad needed a lift on and off the pitch, but a myriad of Red Devils supporters were pessimistic against a Gunners outfit who were challenging Leicester City for the Premier League crown.
And in this period of alteration and altercation, while United no doubt needed personnel change the need for the identity of the club to remain in place was significant. The soul of the side concentrated about giving the unfulfilled potential of local lads looking for an opportunity to shine.
In football, especially in this globalised fast flowing modern era, the need for instant results is key for the stability of a club, yet as soon as the ship starts sinking the protagonists either jump or force someone to jump, and with them the long term plans for their life go a begging.
So Rashford is almost like a metaphor for United’s identity. After his brace against Arsenal on that infamous Sunday afternoon he replicated it against Liverpool on Saturday, having not started a league match in 2018.
There will be a collection of players in that instance who will argue, think that they’re ability is too good to not play for such a long time, discounting the reputation and size of the club to make a point of individuality, creating a scenario where everything is all about them.
Rashford is the complete anecdote of that. Not only did he galvanise that opportunity in arguably the most significant domestic match of United’s season, but the overall display was of a player understandable of the manager’s decision and that no player is bigger than the club.
And the manner of the two goals wasn’t too shabby. Not since Cristiano Ronaldo have United seen a forward with the ability to strike the ball with such swerve that even it was aimed straight at any goalkeeper a seed of doubt will still emerge within their head.
So the fact that Rashford’s first hit the side netting meant that Loris Karius stood no chance whatsoever, and while the second was an unfortunate combination of bounce and deflection, it was a deserving two goal lead.
Talk of Rashford not booking a seat on the plane to Russia 2018 is now surely a myth bar injury. Technically he is a rare gem. Attitude wise he’s the worth of a diamond.