After several years of struggle, Marcus Rashford has returned to his best this season.
The forward has scored eight and assisted three for Manchester United in 2022/23.
He also netted three times for England despite only starting one match at the 2022 World Cup.
Now, Ten Hag has been heaping praise on Rashford and made a comparison between him and Kylian Mbappe:
“From the first moment, I recognised huge potential,” Ten Hag said of Rashford prior to England’s quarter-final defeat to France. “And now to get out the potential, I believe when Marcus’s positioning is on the back of the defending line, there is almost no better player in the world.
“There is Mbappe in this moment, a type like him. But when he (Rashford)’s getting in that position, he’s great and you see he’s really improved also out of possession.
“You see the second goal against Wales when he’s winning the ball for the team and then it was (Phil) Foden who finished and I see him do that all the time, the first press. He’s doing a really good job there for England.
“One of the first things I said to him was come to training and smile. We bring him exercises that hopefully bring players joy. They have to be effective but they have to be joyful as well and that gives you energy when you are happy. When you see the benefit of it you can be happy.
“Actually, Marcus was one from the start who came with a smile to Carrington and left with a smile day by day. And from the first moment, it really was a joy to work with him. I recognise his talent and his finishing talent [is] great.
“For instance, the headed goal against West Ham United, I don’t think he makes goals like that so often. But he’s investing in it, I triggered him a little bit, he worked with our specific coaches on it, on finishing with headers and then you see he got the benefit from it.
“So when I say he is the one who plays on the shoulder from the defending line, make sure you’re coming in such situations and it’s really difficult to stop him.”
Rashford has been linked with a transfer to Mbappe’s PSG in recent weeks and speculation surrounding that was further advanced when Mbappe commented on an Instagram post of Rashford’s post-France vs England.