Manchester United have been warned about striker Marcus Rashford resting on his laurels amid reports the 18-year-old is in line for a new contract after his recent goalscoring heroics. Rashford has netted four goals in his first two senior appearances – against FC Midtjylland and Arsenal – and will be rewarded for the remarkable start to his football career.
The Sun understands that Rashford, who currently earns £500-a-week on a deal that expires in the summer of 2017, will be handed a new contract worth £15,000-a-week. The England youth international will see his wages increase by 3,000% in recognition of his form, which has helped Louis van Gaal's side enjoy three straight wins.
Rashford was handed his United debut in place of the injured Anthony Martial and scored twice in the Europa League as Van Gaal's side came back from a goal down to cruise into the last 16 of the competition. The Manchester-born forward kept his place for the visit of Arsenal and hit the back of the net twice in the first 45 minutes of his league debut.
Of the 14 academy players handed debuts by Van Gaal this season, none has made an impact that can match Rashford. United are seemingly conscious of the stir he has created after fast-tracking talks over a new deal. Danny Higginbotham is a former graduate from Old Trafford's youth system and he has warned awarding players with such deals is risky.
"It is a ridiculous amount of money but it's the nature of the beast now, it's unfortunately the way football's going," the former United defender told Talksport. "I think it's been detrimental to a lot of youngsters. We now have a generation of young players who can be driven by money at times.
"You have to be very careful because a player can rest on their laurels when you do get that size a contract at that young an age. If you give these young players a ridiculous amount of money at the age of 18, and they might not have even made a first-team appearance, where then is their desire, determination and commitment to get even better?
"We've seen it over the years. A lot of youngsters now probably get their best contract at the age of 19 or 20, but that shouldn't be the case. A player's contract should be progressive and you should get your best contract at your peak years of 28-30.
"By giving young players these big contracts, clubs are unintentionally making a lot of lads go sterile. It's becoming a big problem because players are stagnating and are not progressing from the age of 20 onwards."