Young Manchester United prodigy Marcus Rashford has been nominated for the 2017 Golden Boy Award, run by Italian newspaper Tuttosport. The prize is awarded to Europe’s most prestigious footballer under the age of 21.
What is the Golden Boy Award?
The Golden Boy Award was founded back in 2003, with Ajax’s Rafael Van Der Vaart being the trophies first ever winner. A shortlist of players is composed by 30 sports journalists across Europe, and the winner is announced in December.
The 19 year old is one of six English players nominated for the accolade. Liverpool duo Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke, Tottenham’s Kyle Walker-Peters, Everton’s Dominic Calvert- Lewin and West Ham’s Reece Oxford who is currently out on loan at German side Borussia Monchengladbach.
Rashford has had a sensational journey through the ranks of Manchester United’s Academy and hasn’t had a bad start to life in the first team either. The young Englishman had his chance handed to him by former United boss Louis Van Gaal back in February 2016, scoring two goals on his debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.
Since then, the future England star has scored 12 Premier League goals, including two on his first league appearance. After United’s 3-0 win over Basel in midweek, Rashford has now scored on his Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, league cup, England U21s and England senior team debut.
Last season, the forward helped boss José Mourinho guide his side to both the EFL Cup and the Europa League title, not to mention winning the FA Cup with Van Gaal the year before.
Who is he up against?
Rashford finished in second place last year, but was narrowly pipped to the prize by Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches, who is now on loan at Swansea City. It won’t be any easier this year as the striker is going up against the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé who both made big money moves in the summer.
Mbappé swapped Monaco for Paris Saint Germain in the summer on an initial loan move, but the deal could eventually rise up to £160 million. Dembélé, on the other hand made a £97 million move to Spanish giants Barcelona, swiftly leaving his old club Borussia Dortmund behind. Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is another familiar name on the list closer to home.