Sol Campbell says Manchester United “should not have to rely on an 18-year-old youth player to carry their season” after Marcus Rashford fired them to derby victory on Sunday.
The former England centre-back believes Rashford’s emergence at Old Trafford is “hugely impressive”, but says the Wytheshawe-born youngster should be used to complement the senior players in the squad.
Rashford scored his fifth goal in eight appearances for United and after scoring twice against Arsenal he added Manchester City to his list of victims as he skipped past Martin Demechelis to finish neating past Joe Hart to earn United a crucial 1-0 win at The Etihad.
“The emergence of Marcus Rashford at Manchester United in recent weeks should not only be celebrated by United fans. It’s great for football. To see a young man burst onto the scene at one of the biggest clubs in the world is hugely impressive.
“For kids up and down the country, Marcus Rashford is an example of hard work and how a dream can come true. He has an awful lot of work to do of course, but at the moment if he can keep enjoying his football then who knows how well he do in the remainder of the season,” Campbell told Sportlobster.
“Of course, this wasn’t Van Gaal’s ‘plan A’ but that’s the beautiful thing about football. It’s a great story and a hugely welcome one for Van Gaal who had probably only seen him play a couple of times. Let’s not pretend, it was injuries and poor form that has given Rashford his opportunity and he’s certainly taken it.
“The problem is a club like United shouldn’t rely on an 18-year-old youth player to carry their season. He should be learning and complementing the experienced players instead of being relied upon to score their goals every week,” added 41-year-old Campbell.
The former Arsenal and Tottenham man believes calls for Rashford, who became the youngest scorer in a Premier League Manchester derby, aged 18 years and 141 days, to be included in England’s Euro 2016 squad are “very premature”.
“Calls that Rashford could make a late claim for a place in Hodgson’s England squad this summer are very premature,” said Campbell.
“On the question of Hodgson’s striking options, if you accept that (Wayne) Rooney is fit then you have to take him. It’s a risk with his form this season and his current injury but I think a squad can afford to carry a player like Rooney and wait and see how he does.”