Marcus Rashford has become a household name over the course of the last seven months, and no one could have seen it coming.
The 18-year-old was studying for his A-levels in the early part of 2016, before being thrust into the Manchester United first team, scoring a bunch of goals, going to the Euros, and getting a bumper new contract.
But what has kept him going through the months where many expected him to simply fade away into obscurity?
Well, according to Gareth Southgate, it’s Rashford’s mental strength.
The youngster has linked up with the former England defender as part of England’s under 21 squad, after Sam Allardyce omitted the United man from his senior selection.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Southgate said:
One of the elements you are very aware of in all of those players is that they’re not fazed by anything that is thrown at them.
That would seem to be what has happened so far with Marcus and I’m sure that could influence the path.
If you look at the top players, in the end it’s the mental side that differentiates.
Rashford scored his first goal of the season in United’s 1-0 win over Hull City last weekend, and it represented the latest challenge in the teenager’s career.
He went from being the star man at the back end of last season to being an unused substitute in Jose Mourinho’s first three games in charge, but bounced back with the winner against Mike Phelan’s side.
That kind of reaction makes Southgate’s words all the more accurate, especially considering the amount of one-hit wonders United have had over the years.
Names like Federico Macheda spring to mind, but Rashford looks like he’s here to stay.
Manchester Evening News