Local lads shape the future of Red v Blue
THE Manchester derby has evolved into one of the biggest games in world football, but it is two local players who could shape these games for years to come – Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden.
Both are boyhood supporters of their clubs and went through the ranks of City and United’s academies.
Foden was born just down the road from the Etihad in Stockport.
He was signed by the club aged eight and impressed throughout his time in their youth set-up.
He really came to people’s attention, though, last year when he captained the England side to victory at the U17 World Cup in Croatia, and was named player of the tournament.
Blues manager Pep Guardiola is also a big fan of the 18-year-old midfielder and is desperate to keep him at the club, with plenty of Europe’s big names eyeing a potential swoop.
He won’t start tomorrow, but he is certain to be at the centre of City sides for derbies to come.
“This guy is so special, a City fan and he loves the club,” said Guardiola. “You see it in his behaviour and every single action.
“He is already a football player.”
At 21, Rashford, is a few years further down the line in his career. great, great He became third on the list of England’s youngest ever goalscorers behind Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen at aged 18 and 141 day.
Born in Wythenshawe, just five miles from Old Trafford, he has been a lifelong United supporter.
He began playing football at the age of five for the famed Fletcher Moss Rangers, who have also produced Wes Brown and Jesse Lingard.
The Reds snapped up the youngster at just seven years of age and he has made his way up through the club’s academy system – like so many United stars before him.
He was given his senior debut by Louis van Gaal in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland.
He came off the bench to score twice, becoming United’s youngest ever player to score in a European competition beating a long-standing record held by George Best.
Since then, Rashford has become a regular in the first team and has been a firm favourite of Jose Mourinho’s, being one of his most used players.
“He finishes training and stays another half an hour to practice free-kicks,” said the Reds boss.
“It’s his mentality, he is very mature.
“He works and works and works, so we can forget his age. It’s about his quality.”
Two local lads, ready to be rivals for years to come.
Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden