Manchester United legend Paul Scholes recently opened up about Ruud van Nisterlooy, admitted that he admired his teammate. Citing him to be the best finisher he played with at the club, Scholes even alluded to his personal belief that Marcus Rashford has the right attributes to follow in the footsteps of van Nisterlooy.
Such high praise means all the more coming from Scholes, who has played alongside a number of iconic players, including Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Carlos Tevez and Teddy Sheringham, in his long and distinguished Old Trafford career.
“I played with some unbelievable centre-forwards. You are thinking Cole, Dwight Yorke, Sheringham, Solskjaer. There are loads. There are some unbelievable goalscorers. But, to me, van Nistelrooy was the best finisher.” Of all great players, Scholes believes van Nistelrooy has risen to the top in terms of finishing. A remark such as this one can be called insightful, as Scholes speaks from years of experience playing alongside the finisher.
“I played number 10 with Ruud for a season – and I loved it. He’s just a ruthless, ruthless goalscorer. He just lived for scoring goals. Whenever he did score or didn’t score, the first thing he would do when we got on the team bus after the game was see if Thierry Henry scored,” Scholes told the Manchester United podcast. “And if Henry had scored, he wouldn’t talk to anybody for the full trip home because he was so engrossed in being the leading goalscorer, not just at United but in the league, in the world, everywhere. I loved the way Ruud finished as well.”
And what are his thoughts on Rashford? He says, “I always remember watching Marcus in the reserve team, when he was an out and out centre-forward. Sometimes I would go to games and just watch him and not really watch where the ball was. I’d look for his movement – is he clever enough to have that link with a midfield player? I think he has that.”
He is optimistic that Rashford will also prove to be a success as a center-forward despite more usually playing off the left in recent years. “I was really excited when he first got into the team, a little bit luckily at first – I think there was an injury to someone. But ever since he has got into the team, he has shown the talent he has got as a centre-forward or a player wide on the left. I always remember seeing him as a kid and I thought his intelligence and his movement was as a centre-forward. He looked like an out and out number nine, but now you see him in games now he seems to enjoy it more from the left-hand side.”
Rashford has so far made 201 senior appearances in the United States, scored 64 goals and helped 31.