Tuesday 12 December 2017

Rio Ferdinand says it's 'disrespectful' to compare Manchester United's Marcus Rashford to Michael Owen

Rio Ferdinand. BT Sport
Rio Ferdinand. BT Sport

Evan Bartlett

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford has all the potential to become a “fantastic player” but feels comparisons with a young Michael Owen are “disrespectful” and a “joke”.

The 19-year-old forward has scored 12 Premier League goals since bursting onto the scene at the back end of the 2015/16 season and is now a regular fixture in the England squad.

But by the time Michael Owen was his age he had already topped the Premier League goal scoring charts twice and scored one of England’s most memorable goals at a World Cup finals.

“You can’t compare these young boys nowadays to what Michael Owen was doing,” Ferdinand said, while sat next to Owen in the BT Sport studio.

“We mentioned it before the [Stoke] game: when he was the same age as Rashford, he’d won two golden boots in the Premier League and scored 50 goals. Rashford has got 20.

“They are great young players, these boys, but people seem to forget, and it’s half disrespectful in my eyes, when you start comparing – even look at the likes of Mbappe, if he’s going for that type of money now what would [Owen] be going for?

“It’s a joke.”

Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn is another to have been touted as a star of the future.

While Ferdinand agrees both young forwards are full of potential, he feels the need to quash some of the more breathless praise.

“I get frustrated because people forget, they forget too quickly what certain players are doing. When [Owen] came on, same with Wayne Rooney, when he burst onto the scene, you don’t get those players very often," Ferdinand added.

“These guys [Rashford and Woodburn] have got a lot to do. Listen, they’ve got potential, Woodburn has got great potential, he looks a fantastic talent. Rashford, I love this kid, I think he’s going to be a fantastic player. But, right now, let him breathe.”

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