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Rashford must stay grounded – Mata

Manchester United star Juan Mata has urged teenage sensation Marcus Rashford to keep his feet on the ground after taking the football world by storm last week.

Rashford scored a brace as a depleted United side stunned Premier League title hopefuls Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The 18-year-old’s exploits came just days after announcing himself with a double against Midtjylland in the Europa League.

Comparisons to past greats have since followed and Mata has told the talented striker to stay grounded.

“He needs to keep calm,” Mata said. “Everyone is going to call him, text him, speak about him and write about him.

“But he needs to keep calm because I think he has a bright future coming up ahead of him – he needs to keep playing his football.”

While Rashford has shone brightest, injuries have provided some of his academy team-mates with an avenue to the senior side in recent weeks and they have not disappointed.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah and James Weir came off the bench against Arsenal, while Guillermo Varela impressed at right-back.

Joe Riley played almost 80 minutes in the 5-1 win over Midtjylland on Thursday.

“You know the great thing with young lads, is that you don’t really know what you’ve got until you put them in there and give them a chance,” said United midfielder Michael Carrick.

“Over recent weeks, that’s probably been the massive bonus for us – probably over the whole season really – the young lads coming in.

“And they’ve all looked comfortable, they’ve all settled in really well, and I think everyone else responds to that.

“There’s a togetherness in the squad and the older boys all want to try to look after them and try to help them, and it brings everyone together, and I think the fans respond to that.

“They certainly did against Arsenal, and I think there was a real spirit generated throughout the whole ground, which helped us a lot.”

Tue 1 Mar, 2016
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