Manchester United attacker Juan Mata has hailed teenage teammate Marcus Rashford as a 'special kid' following his impressive performance in the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Rashford set up Mata for the opening goal at Old Trafford within two minutes, while he also delivered a wicked cross for Marouane Fellaini to complete a goalscoring double early in the second half. While he may not have scored, Rashford showed again in the clash why he's considered one of the most exciting prospects in world football.
Mata, who has witnessed the 19-year-old's rise through the ranks and into first team contention, told M.E.N. that Rashford possesses a lot of great qualities, but the reason for his continued success is down to his mentality.
He said: “He has been brilliant. I think he is a special kid. He has a lot of talents and he has got a good mentality which is important in that age. He is performing very well, week in week out (and) even coming from the bench he is helping a lot.
"I really believe he is going to be a big player for club and country.
“It’s down to everything he does on the pitch, the qualities he has, the important player he is in some difficult games where he just takes the ball and scores two great goals like last time in the League Cup (against Burton Albion).
“But I see so many players at that age like this, and then they don’t keep consistency, but I believe he can because it’s down to his mentality and he has the right mentality for that.”
Rashford and Frenchman Anthony Martial have been in scintillating form since the start of the season, and both are competing for a position on the left wing at the moment - while Mata appears to have made the birth on the right side his own. And the Spain international believes their form - and the goalscoring form of his teammates - is a key reason for his side's good start.
He added: “We have ten players that have scored this season already, so that’s a lot and that speaks very well of the team and that is the big reason for the good start to the season.
“Anthony, Marcus, Jesse (Lingard) when he comes in the team is playing very good, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan is playing well and is doing great things. Everyone is doing their bit and I believe that the manager is happy with that.
“We have a good squad and some good players this season, players with a lot of experience in the Premier League. The manager has a lot of players to choose from .We had a lot of games this month so he changed a lot, but everyone is performing. As a manager, he cannot ask for more.”
United are currently second in the table going into the international break - being one goal worse off than Manchester City. United play Liverpool at Anfield on October 14th, in their sternest test of the season so far.