Ryan Giggs likes watching “exciting prospect” Marcus Rashford as much as he used to enjoy coaching him, with Saturday marking a year since the teenager’s whirlwind Manchester United debut.
FC Midtjylland will forever be synonymous with the Wythenshawe attacker’s career, having been thrust into the starting line-up for United’s crunch Europa League last-32 second leg after Anthony Martial’s injury in the warm-up.
Rashford’s name was not even on the back of the programme that night and he introduced himself to the Old Trafford faithful with a brace which he has subsequently added a further 13 goals to.
The 19-year-old is also now a full England international, even being picked for Euro 2016, and Giggs is excited by his potential having seen it first-hand as United’s assistant manager at the time of his debut on February 25, 2016.
“I remember watching him the week before that game, it may have even been three or four days before that game, training with the reserves,” he told Press Association Sport.
“He obviously stood out and he looked sharp, but little did we know that three or four days later he would be starring and ending the season so well and then going onto the Euros with England.
“He is an exciting prospect. He is just so quick and direct, and you saw that against Blackburn in the FA Cup.
“His best position, really, is through the middle, coming up with the goods and he is just an exciting player.
“I always say he is a Man United player because he is exciting, he has got a good mentality and he is tough. I think he’ll do well at United for a long, long time.”
Giggs, like so many United greats of yesteryear, is a home-grown talent – something the club are synonymous with producing.
“It is important – someone who the fans (see) have come through the ranks, someone who is one of their own, someone who grew up in the area,” Giggs said.
“It is important and it is important at most clubs, but obviously United when they’ve got that great history of young players coming through there’s that added pressure as well.
“I think the fans always get behind the young players that come through, even if they make mistakes they still get behind them.
“The best thing of all is that Marcus is a good kid. He wants to improve, wants to be the best and to come through as a centre forward at United is not easy.
“I think probably the last person to come through the ranks and stay there as the centre forward was Mark Hughes.
“Historically you’ll buy centre forwards in and pay a lot of money for them, so it is brilliant what he is doing right now.”