Barcelona have set their sights upon Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford as a potential successor to Luis Suarez who turned 32 in January and has two more years left on his contract with the Blaugrana club.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, the Catalan club has identified the Red Devils forward as their contingency plan in case they fail to secure the signing of Antoine Griezmann or Neymar Jr in the summer transfer window.
Rashford who first broke onto the scene in January 2016 under Louis Van Gaal has established himself as a regular in the United starting eleven. He scored 13 times and assisted 9 more for his teammates in 47 appearances across all competitions last campaign.
His penalty against Paris Saint-Germain to send United through to the quarter-final stage of the Champions League showed how he has matured as a player at the young age of 21.
Rashford to Camp Nou: Will it be the right move?
The young English international usually features as a centre-forward but possesses the capability to switch to either flank in the final third. His flexibility enabled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to tinker with United’s formation which he did successfully on a couple of occasions against the big guns.
Rashford has an abundance of pace and dribbling skills in his locker which helps him glide past players on the pitch. His runs behind the opposition backline remain a constant threat to the defenders and the 21-year-old sure knows how to exploit the space afforded to him in the final third.
From Barca’s perspective, this move could prove fruitful in the long run seeing Rashford is only 21 years of age and remains quite malleable at this point in time. He could become the understudy to Luis Suarez learning the tricks of the trade at the highest level.
He could also slot in alongside Messi and Suarez in the front three and ply his trade on the wing seeing his flexibility in the final third of the pitch. However, he has to improve certain areas of his game in passing and link-up play against opposition who play with a low block, a characteristic which is highly significant to succeed at a club like Barcelona.
The English striker remained highly ineffective against teams like Newcastle United who stay deep in their own half and managed an average of 79.7% pass success rate last season which is a worrying sign for the budding talent.
In case of a move, the step-up will be massive and unsettling but the ambitious Rashford possesses the quality to eventually succeed on a much bigger level than where Manchester United are operating at the moment.