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Rashford warned over Mbappe and the Ballon d'Or as Rooney sends public message

Rashford warned over Mbappe and the Ballon d'Or as Rooney sends public message

Former Manchester United forward Louis Saha believes Marcus Rashford should be on the shortlist to win this year's Ballon d'Or.

Former Manchester United forward Louis Saha believes Marcus Rashford would already be under serious consideration to win this year's Ballon d'Or - except for one reason.

Rashford has been in incredible form recently, scoring in each of his last six appearances. He has also provided two assists in that time, and netted a brace in Tuesday's 3-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Charlton.

The 25-year-old has returned to top form under Erik ten Hag - and it could be argued he is playing the finest football of his career - after a difficult 2021/22 season, which he began recovering from injury before struggling to find consistent form upon his return.

Rashford has been deployed as a centre forward throughout the campaign, regularly being selected ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo when both players were at the club.

With Ronaldo having now departed Old Trafford, Rashford remains as the number one striker at the club, with Anthony Martial now behind him in the pecking order.

United legend Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, sent the forward a message of support on Twitter after he broke his record of scoring in consecutive home games. Rashford has scored in eight games in a row at Old Trafford.

He wrote: "Class @MarcusRashford. Let's keep it going."

Saha has also praised Rashford for his form and tipped him to be on the 2023 Ballon d'Or shortlist.

Louis Saha on Rashford

Saha believes that Rashford would already be on a list of contenders for the Ballon d'Or next year if he was in 'a team that plays with confidence'.

He told BoyleSports (quotes via Daily Mirror): "Marcus Rashford is a top five player in the world right now.

"The only difference between him and Mbappe is the trajectory, as Mbappe has won the World Cup already so his confidence has been right up. If Rashford has a team that plays with confidence, he'd already be on a list with all the usual Ballon d'Or contenders.

"Everytime he's played with directness and his fitness is right, he's unplayable. He's an amazing talent and it's been frustrating because he's been overthinking."

United have, however, won their last eight games in all competitions under Ten Hag, and are playing with confidence right now.

That has not been the case recently, however, as the Red Devils only scraped into the Europa League qualifying places on the last day of last season under Ralf Rangnick, and could have dropped out entirely had other results gone differently.

For now, Rashford and United will hope for another strong display when they take on Manchester City in the Manchester derby this weekend.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Marcus Rashford, Premier League, Manchester United, Wayne Rooney