Marcus Rashford vs Kelechi Iheanacho – Who Is The Real Prince Of Manchester?

Manchester United vs Manchester City – Who Has The Real Prince Of Manchester?

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Much has been said of the Manchester giants and their approach to the Premier League. Both clubs appointed high-profile managers, spent a combined total of over 300-million-pounds in the summer on rebuilding their respective squads and made solid starts to their domestic campaign.

While City were arguably the better side in their 2-1 derby win over their cross-town rivals at Old Trafford, United boast a squad with plenty of depth and quality. The fact that Jose Mourinho could afford to make eight changes to his side in the Europa League in the aftermath of the heavyweight clash in Manchester suggests United can still compete for all four major trophies this season, in spite of their recent setbacks.

With money playing a big role in the recent upsurge of football power in England, both Manchester clubs surprisingly unearthed gems from the academies, namely, Kelechi Iheanacho and Marcus Rashford. With Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimović viewed as the leading men for either club, the two youngsters are likely to operate under their shadow. Yet the talent they possess is vast and ought to be harnessed as effectively as possible by the managers.

Iheanacho and Rashford made their first-team debuts last season, under Manuel Pellegrini and Louis van Gaal respectively. The City striker netted eight goals in 26 league appearances while Rashford bagged five in 11, one of which was the winner in United’s derby win at the Etihad stadium in March 2016. While the former registered a total of 14 strikes to his name in 35 matches in all competitions, Rashford could manage only eight, albeit having played 17 games fewer than his counterpart. Both of them have opened their account this season quickly, with Iheanacho scoring what ultimately turned out to be the winner in the Manchester derby, and also against Bournemouth, while his opposite number grabbed a late goal against Hull City and most recently; the only goal for United in their 3-1 defeat to Watford.

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Interestingly, both of them have scored for the national team as well. Iheanacho, a Nigerian by birth has netted thrice for his country. On the other hand, Rashford scored on his debut for England against Australia in a friendly and went on to play for them in the Euros in France, albeit sporadically. In terms of statistics and appearances for both club and country, there is very little to separate the two mercurial talents.

What they bring to their respective sides is pretty similar too. Both Iheanacho and Rashford have been lauded for their quick and direct approach going forward and their temperament in front of goal. Both players completed an astonishing number of dribbles and created several opportunities for their colleagues on the pitch, thereby rendering them invaluable.

The stance taken by Guardiola and Mourinho for these two starlets will be the key in determining which player enjoys a better campaign. With Iheanacho expected to start the next two domestic games for City, given Sergio Aguero’s retrospective ban, Rashford will certainly be on the bench for United’s Premier League games as an understudy to Zlatan Ibrahimović. The EFL Cup will be a platform for both players to enhance their reputation even further but until then, they will continue to stay level-headed and grab whatever opportunities that come their way.   

In terms of overall impact and numbers raked up thus far, Iheanacho edges Rashford. That, however, will count for little as the season begins to take shape. For now, all we ought to do is enjoy and admire the two Mancunian thunderstorms.

2 thoughts on “Marcus Rashford vs Kelechi Iheanacho – Who Is The Real Prince Of Manchester?”

  1. “While City were arguably the better side in their 2-1 derby win over their cross-town rivals at Old Trafford,”
    Wonderfully witty.

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