Marcus Rashford should look to Cristiano Ronaldo for inspiration to improve his game, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has also urged the youngster to stay loyal to Manchester United.
Rashford smashed home a dramatic late VAR-assisted penalty to down Paris Saint-Germain and seal a historic Champions League comeback for Solskjaer’s injury-hit side on Wednesday.
United became the first team to overturn a 2-0 home loss in the first leg of a tie to improbably book their place in the quarter-finals, perhaps earning Solskjaer the United job on a permanent basis.
Rashford took a leading role, with his shot forcing the error from Gianluigi Buffon that handed Romelu Lukaku his second goal of the game.
And Solskjaer is backing Rashford to follow in the footsteps of one-club men such as Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, while asking the 21-year-old to be inspired by another United icon.
“We know the legends we’ve had at this club that have stayed so long,” Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against Arsenal.
“They’ve been one-club players and we hope Rashy’s going to be one of them. It’s up to him and if he keeps producing, he’ll stay in the team. It’s up to him to stay in the team.
“You don’t really see too much change in three months, but you’re excused if you hit the heights and, sometimes, you’re a bit off the pace. You don’t expect the consistency yet, but he’s always got the quality in finishing, in striking the ball, in his attitude.
Live for nights like this pic.twitter.com/A9SJ14O5wG
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) March 7, 2019
“I keep battering him with it – he should score as many goals as Rom after the training session has finished. Simple tap-ins, like Rom has scored in the last few games.
“Rashy sometimes scores worldies and he has a sensational strike, but you see the improvement and change in Cristiano’s goals from when he was young to now, he scores more inside the box and that’s what Rashy has to improve now. And he’s been told that.”
Lukaku has scored six goals in three games for United after moving into a more central role, with Solskjaer playing down the tactical shift but accepting his burgeoning partnership with Rashford is exciting.
“I don’t think a lot has changed,” Solskjaer continued. “He’s been asked to play wide and provide more chances but now it’s more in and around the box.
“We played with two up against PSG and they might form a very nice partnership. I wouldn’t like to be a defender with them two running at me.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 8, 2019
Reports have indicated Solskjaer could soon be named the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, but he is staying focused on the task in hand.
“No, it’s just the media,” Solskjaer added. “I’m not here to get excited, I’m here to do my job.
“The contract issue is you cannot have two contracts, so that contract [at Molde] was terminated. I’m contracted at Man United until the end of June.
“Everyone likes to get complimented and you meet people who are happy but that doesn’t change my approach. I focus on what I shall be focusing on and that’s not thinking about that part of it.”
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