Lo­cal lads shape the fu­ture of Red v Blue

Manchester Evening News - - THE 177TH DERBY - By THOMAS MAHER

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

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