Manchester United progressed to the fourth round of the League Cup following their 4-1 victory over Burton Albion. Marcus Rashford netted a first-half brace in the win leading former Manchester United and Everton defender, Phil Neville, to say the United forward is better than Paris St Germain’s loanee Kylian Mbappe, as well as Barcelona recruit Ousmane Dembele. But is Phil Neville heading down the right path or should his views be contested?
Before we throw Mbappe and Dembele into the ring with Rashford, we need to get a bit of an understanding about the Manchester United flyer’s performances, a weigh in if you will.
He has appeared in all five matches, where he has scored twice and set another one up. Rashford has is usually always busy in front of goal too, having had seven of his 15 find the target. He has won five fouls, and has dribbled the ball successfully 10 times. Beside his individual numbers, let’s consider the fact that he is playing alongside Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, yet he is doing more than enough to standout and even steal the spotlight. The young Englishmen is red-hot at the moment and probably deserves his plaudits, but will tackling Europe’s best youngsters be a little too much?
Dembele has found life a little harder at Barcelona. After signing from Borussia Dortmund for the astronomical figure of $164 million, Dembele is looking down the barrel of a lengthy stint on the sidelines due to a thigh injury in their win over Getafe. That is a slightly irritating for our yarn, but if we were to consider the two matches prior to the injury then Rashford wins in a landslide. Dembele failed to score in either fixture, and he only created on goal scoring chance as well as a couple take-ons.
— Nelson Semedo (@2NelsonSemedo) September 20, 2017
And now Mbappe…
Now everyone talks about Kylian Mbappe growing into the best player in the world right before our eyes. At just 18, that is more than enough expectation to make even the arrogance of Donald Trump quiver, but the Frenchmen has already proved their are plenty of seasons why he could fulfil that prophecy. However is he performing at the same level as Rashford currently and if so does that mean the Manchester United forward can make the US President twitch in the same way?
Mbappe has played three matches this season (for Monaco and PSG), and has scored one goal, set up one, and created four chances. Six of his nine shots have been on target. He has won four fouls and eight successful-take ons. They are some very impressive early figures, even with the likes of Neymar and Edinson Cavani alongside him.
If we were score this result on a purely stat method than Phil Neville is certainly hitting the mark with his claims, but considering Rashford has played two more games it is hard to bend the rules. Mbappe is very close to Rashford’s tallies already, and he is still two games away from hitting the same amount of fixtures. Therefore, Mbappe is still probably in a slightly higher tier even if it is only by a sliver, but the performances that have culminated in the early season form of Rashford is nothing to take lightly.
Marcus Rashford has scored 5 goals in his last 5 games for Manchester United. ⚽️
— #UCL (@ChampionsLeague) September 21, 2017