- Manchester United manager backs Rashford to captain England
- ‘He’s changed the lives of so many kids this summer’
Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Marcus Rashford is a potential future England captain and says it is an honour to manage the Manchester United striker, whose campaign over free meals for schoolchildren forced a government U-turn.
On Tuesday Boris Johnson reversed a decision not to give vouchers for use in the summer holidays, with the prime minister praising Rashford and his determination on the issue. Rashford has also donated time and money to the FareShare charity, which has raised £20m to help feed vulnerable children.
Solskjær said: “It’s an honour to have Marcus and what he’s done during this lockdown. He’s been unbelievable – [to] help so many people that need it. He’s taken from his own experience when he was a kid. I know how much it means for the kids and we, as a club, are immensely proud of him.
“He’s obviously a top footballer but also a fantastic human being – a future leader, a future captain, maybe, of England, Man United, who knows? He’s already captained the team [United]. We’re really proud of him and his family must be so proud as well of what he has achieved.
“As his manager as well it’s been fantastic to follow Marcus during the lockdown period; he got the prime minister to change his mind. Marcus is such a top human being – he’s changed the lives of so many kids this summer, which is more important than any game he’ll play.”
Solskjær is also behind the Black Lives Matter movement and supports players and officials taking a knee, as they did before Wednesday’s Aston Villa-Sheffield United and Manchester City-Arsenal games.
“I feel now maybe this time finally [things] are changing and it’s been on the agenda for many many years – this issue of racism,” he said. “This time hopefully it will affect more people, leader of countries and decision makers but we all support the actions.”
United resume their season with Friday’s visit to Tottenham, the first of nine league games. Solskjær, who is without the injury Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe, said: “It’s big against one of the best teams in the league, Champions League finalists a year ago. We’ve prepared as well as we can, we’ve had a couple of in-house 11 v 11s and one 11 v 11 vs West Brom. They look fit and ready and we’ll see tomorrow night.”
Angel Gomes may sign a fresh deal. “Hopefully he’ll take that and if not I wish him all the best,” the manager said. “From what I understand it’s not too far away.”