EPL

Solskjaer backs Manchester United's Rashford to reach Kane's level

By Sports Desk January 11, 2019

Marcus Rashford can go on to reach the levels set by Tottenham star Harry Kane, according to Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Rashford has thrived since Solskjaer took temporary charge at Old Trafford, scoring in three of his five appearances under the Norwegian.

And Solskjaer sees no reason why Rashford cannot live up to the standards set by his England team-mate Kane, who will likely lead the line for Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday as they take on United in the Premier League.

"He can become a top, top striker," said Solskjaer, whose counterpart in Sunday's clash – Mauricio Pochettino – is regarded as the favourite to take over at United.

"We can talk about Harry Kane and his class and I'm sure Marcus as well has the potential to get up there.

"He has got frightening pace, he's becoming stronger, he can now hold the ball up for us, he's a great link player."

Solskjaer, who took United's squad to Dubai for a warm weather training camp following their FA Cup win over Reading, added that Rashford's graduation from United's famed academy makes the striker even more likely to succeed.

"He's been brought up here so there were a couple of sessions with the young kids," he said.

"[Tahith] Chong, Angel [Gomes] and him, they play together in a certain way so he's a very exciting player to work with."

Related items

  • Solskjaer: Lukaku is big part of Man United squad Solskjaer: Lukaku is big part of Man United squad

    Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted Romelu Lukaku is a "big part" of his squad, despite the Belgian striker finding himself on the bench at Old Trafford.

    Lukaku has only started one match since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho last month - a FA Cup third-round victory over Reading - amid a six-game winning streak.

    The Belgium international has made three substitute appearances in the Premier League, scoring twice, as Solskjaer prefers a front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

    However, Solskjaer said Lukaku remains an important member of United's side ahead of Saturday's clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.

    "He's a big part of the squad, definitely, with his personality around the place," Solskjaer said. "There's no one scoring as many goals as him in training. 

    "There are the three who play the most but then you've got [Romelu Lukaku], you've got Juan [Mata], you've got Alexis [Sanchez], so I've got a front six I can rotate with and Rom is definitely going to be playing games."

    Solskjaer, whose in-form United are sixth and level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal, continued: "I used to be one of four strikers when we played with two. Now we have six forwards and we play with three most of the time.

    "We'll be OK to be able to rotate and there’s enough games and playing time. 

    "It's about taking the chances when you get them, and to be fair, Rom has scored three already and Marcus has scored three. Paul [Pogba]'s scored four since I came here. It's up to the strikers to take them."

  • Napoli slam FIGC decision to reject Koulibaly appeal Napoli slam FIGC decision to reject Koulibaly appeal

    Napoli say the decision to reject Kalidou Koulibaly's appeal against his red card against Inter is a wasted opportunity in the battle against racism.

    Koulibaly was shown two yellow cards in quick succession during the 1-0 defeat at San Siro on Boxing Day, the second coming after he sarcastically applauding the referee.

    The Senegal defender was targeted by racist abuse from the stands throughout the game in Milan and head coach Carlo Ancelotti said Koulibaly was "nervous and the mood at the time was not his best".

    Napoli said the game should have been suspended due to the taunts from the crowd and the club's lawyer vowed to fight any suspension.

    However, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) appeals court rejected his claim on Friday, leading to condemnation from Napoli, who believe the governing body have "degraded" football and hampered their fight to stop racism.

    The club statement read: "The decision of the FIGC appeals court to turn down our appeal against Koulibaly's ban is a sad defeat both for football and the wider issue raised by this whole affair, namely, the fight against discrimination of all sorts, which is still part of football and society.

    "A battle that UEFA has been fighting for years – and which Napoli has always supported – has thus been degraded.

    "UEFA and FIFA have condemned what happened, saying that protocol was not respected and that the match should have been suspended. All manner of public figures, from mayors to artists, footballers and coaches have offered their solidarity while expressing their indignation.

    "Rarely in Italy have we witnessed such unanimous condemnation from society as a whole.

    "Then there was the appeal itself, where the judges said they are completely aware of what happened and that they are on Koulibaly's side as a man. They encouraged him not to give up or feel alone, which, he explained, in a sincere and moving speech, is how he felt that evening. Just as he explained to the judges how embarrassed he felt when he had to tell his parents, and his mother in particular, what had happened.

    "After all these extraordinary events, the appeal was turned down. A procedural rule was incapable of doing the only thing there was to do: give back to Kalidou Koulibaly – this Senegalese lad who, in light of these events, represents everything that is good and bad in Italy at the moment – the dignity he deserves.

    "Koulibaly, Italian football and the institutions all come out of this degraded. Koulibaly's ban should have been overturned regardless of the rules and the bureaucracy. All this does is kill football. Because football is above all a passion that unites billions of people around the world, and it should not be derided like this.

    "A great opportunity has been missed today. Sadly it proves there is still much to do and many things to change."

  • We're the hunters! - Kovac's Bayern ready to chase down Dortmund We're the hunters! - Kovac's Bayern ready to chase down Dortmund

    Niko Kovac said "hunters" Bayern Munich are desperate to chase Borussia Dortmund and seal the title after increasing the pressure on the Bundesliga leaders.

    German champions Bayern moved within three points of Dortmund following a 3-1 victory at Hoffenheim as the Bundesliga returned on Friday.

    Leon Goretzka's first-half double and Robert Lewandowski's late sealer saw Bayern to their sixth successive league victory.

    Speaking afterwards, Bayern head coach Kovac said: "The first half was sensational. That was our ambition, that's what we're able to do.

    "The result is good, we got off to a good start to the second half of the season and increased the pressure.

    "We're the hunters, we want to chase Dortmund. We want to chase and seal the championship title. The decisive thing is to be at the top at the end of the season."

    In their first fixture of 2019, Bayern reigned supreme thanks to Goretzka's maiden Bundesliga brace away.

    Goretzka struck in 12 first-half minutes to put Bayern in control before Hoffenheim - who were riding a 10-match unbeaten streak - reduced the deficit via Nico Schulz approaching the hour-mark.

    Bayern, though, made sure of the points when Lewandowski added a third goal with three minutes remaining.

    "Taken altogether we put in a good fight," Goretzka said. "It was a superb performance in the first half. We were in control and deservedly took the lead.

    "The second half was a bit hectic but the game would have been over if we had rounded off a counter. This way Hoffenheim bounced back, we had to give it everything. We wanted to get off to a good start to the second half of the season, and it was important to turn in a good display.

    "Our goal is to clinch the championship title. We were six points short after the first half of the season. We're the hunters now."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.