Friday, September 09, 2016

Rashford Beats Chelsea's Rival, Solanke

The contrasts between Dominic Solanke and Marcus Rashford couldn't be any more striking. Both are being billed as the future of English football on the back of their goalscoring exploits.

Whereas Solanke has been a youth-team star for Chelsea, however, it's where it matters most that Rashford is making his name.

The Manchester United striker scored on his debut for the club in last season's Europa League and hasn't looked back since. He followed up his brace against Danish side Midtjylland in February with another double just three days later against Arsenal in a 3-2 win.

A further four goals followed, including the game's only tally as United toppled rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Within seconds of making his England debut in late May, Rashford score against Australia to book his place in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad.

On Tuesday, a hat-trick on his England under-21s debut sent his reputation into thestratosphere.

In the meantime, Rashford's star is soaring. But who would have predicted this even 12 months ago? Back then, Rashford was hardly on the radar.

Solanke himself wasn't being discussed widely, but with his superior goalscoring record,
he was creating the buzz.

Just six weeks in their birth dates separate Solanke and Rashford—the Chelsea man turns 19 on September 14, with Rashford celebrating his birthday on Halloween.

In terms of their careers, though, the gap couldn't be any greater. Rashford is racing ahead, while Solanke remains stagnant.

It's a crying shame, as his presence in Chelsea's youth teams should have earned Solanke a chance at Stamford Bridge. Forgetting the off-field politics of contract negotiations, he's been a victim of Chelsea's policy of promoting reputations over potential.