Nicky Butt heaps praise on red-hot Marcus Rashford
‘He’s as good as anyone in the world’: Nicky Butt heaps praise on red-hot Marcus Rashford and admits it was obvious the Man United striker would be a star as he helped him through the ranks at Old Trafford
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- Nicky Butt was in charge of Man United’s academy when Rashford broke through
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Marcus Rashford has been labelled one of the best forwards in the world by Nicky Butt, the coach who watched him come through the ranks at Manchester United.
Rashford is on an incredible scoring streak for Erik ten Hag’s United, having found the net 17 times since the World Cup ended at the back end of December.
Now former United treble winner Butt – in charge of the Old Trafford academy when Rashford burst on to the scene in February 2016 – believes the 25-year-old has the world at his feet.
‘I am chuffed for him,’ Butt told Sportsmail.
‘I was sitting with my son at Wembley last Sunday and he asked me if I always thought Marcus would be that good.
Nicky Butt has labelled the in-form Marcus Rashford as one of the best forwards in the world
Butt (right) was in charge of Man United’s academy when Rashford (left) burst on to the scene
‘I said yes, that I thought he would be unbelievable. He always was. Anyone could have coached him. He was always gonna be a top player.
‘He had a couple of tough years but it depends what you call a tough couple of years. He did so much unbelievable stuff off the pitch. People around him pushed that more than his football, if I am honest. That is my opinion.
‘But in terms of out and out football talent he is as good as anyone in the world at what he does.
‘He has to believe in that and now I think he is starting to believe in that as well.’
Rashford has emerged from a difficult spell that he had at United last season, a period when he felt his club career was heading in the wrong direction.
Butt added: ‘He was always a bit reserved and a bit deep. But always such a talented player.
‘When you watch a game you always focus on one player and he was always the one. As a coach you have to look at them all but you would always be drawn to him.
‘What’s he doing? What’s his movement like? What’s he doing when he’s got the ball and when he hasn’t got the ball? What’s he doing when he misses a chance? What’s he doing when a free-kick comes or a penalty comes?
Butt – now CEO of Salford City – insists he deserves no credit for the emergence of Rashford
‘He was the one I always wanted to step up and take it. It was the same with Ryan [Giggs] and all the best ones I played with. They are always the ones who step up and they are the ones to end up being the superstars.’
Butt left United two years ago and is now chief executive at Salford City in League Two. He insists he deserves no credit for Rashford’s emergence.
‘Nothing is ever down to one person, right?’ he added.
‘Marcus and those boys started with United at seven. So it’s all those people who worked with them on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.
‘They have worked with those kids as much if not more than anybody else. But they never get a mention. I don’t like the fact that if you are sitting at the top you get all the accolades. I would never want that.
‘Paul McGuinness did more with Marcus than I ever did but just because I was leading at the time it all came to me. When you lead something you are just carrying the baton and that baton should never change. All you are doing is adding one more badge on it. I wouldn’t say I left anything behind.
The United treble winner also claimed it was always obvious to him Rashford would be a star – he is picture playing for United’s under-18 team against Stoke in 2014
‘I just hopefully carried the baton well enough and passed it on to the next one to improve and improve and improve.
‘For me, when people sit there and go: “We have done such a great job by getting players X, Y and Z through” it isn’t right.
‘To get that boy from aged eight to the first team probably takes 50 people. It doesn’t take the leader at the top.
‘It’s nice to hear it and see it on social media. “Oh Nicky Butt brought these players through” but, well, you know…’
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