That’s the view of former Old Trafford and England flyer Lee Sharpe, himself a teenage sensation after making his United debut at just 17.
And as Rashford prepares to lead the United attack for boss Jose Mourinho in the Manchester derby at The Etihad Stadium Sharpe has revealed he’s not been as electrified by a young Red Devil since David Beckham, Paul Scholes – and Ronaldo.
“The last time I was this excited about a United youngster was, well, you can go right back to Paul Scholes and David Beckham for that,” said Lee Sharpe, speaking exclusively to 888sport.
“As for Ronaldo I can see the similarities. Everybody goes on about Rashford’s pace but he’s also got unbelievable feet for someone so quick.
“ He’s not small either and I like how his manager has coaxed him in gently and not put all the responsibility onto him straight away.
“He’s looking absolutely fantastic and now that he’s back playing in his favourite position of centre-forward he’s started to score goals as well.
“So I can see similarities with Cristiano – and if he becomes half the player Ronaldo is then we’re all in for a delight,” Sharpe added.
Mourinho has been devastated by the loss of super-Swede Ibrahimovic who, along with Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo, suffered a cruciate knee ligament in the Europa League quarter-finals against Anderlecht.
But Sharpe, now 45, believes Rashford should seize the moment – just like he did when he exploded on the scene under Louis van Gaal with stunning goals against Danish minnows Miditjylland and Arsenal early last year.
Mourinho against Marcus Rashford playing for England u21s
And he’s optimistic Rashford can be a more effective weapon than Ibrahimovic – starting with the top four shoot-out against City.
“When you look on paper at the amount of goals Ibrahimovich has scored you could say the top four place is now in danger.
“But he does slow things down a bit and if Rashford is given a go as a number nine he could cause as many problems, if not more, than Ibrahimovic does.
“In the handful of games that are left, Rashford is more than capable of scoring the goals to secure that top four spot.
“Ibra is a big miss in that he raises the standard of the team around him when he plays, but he can still have a big influence in the dressing room and the pace of Rashford and the younger lads might work to United’s advantage.”
Sharpe won the last of his three Premier League titles in his final season at United in 1996 after eight years at Old Trafford and saw plenty of big names come and go under Sir Alex Ferguson.
And with United targeting strikers like Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappe and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Greizmann this summer, he believes Mourinho must now be ruthless with Ibrahimovic – just like Ferguson was with his big stars.
“It’s a tricky one because at 35 when you’ve just done your cruciate that’s a twelve month out job” says Sharpe.
“So Ibra is not going to be looking to come back until February of next year. That’s a long wait and he’ll be on a lot of money.
“For a one-year contract is that wait worth it when in the summer there’s every chance that the manager will go out and buy a big money striker anyway?
“It’s a tough one for the club and I understand just to dump him when he gets injured is a harsh thing to do but this is not show-friends, its show-business.
“The club have got to do what is right for them and if that means letting Ibrahimovic go then I’m sure that’s what they’re going to do.
“If Mbappe is going to score goals and help sell hundreds of thousands of shirts around the world they’re probably not going to lose out on the deal anyway.
“With Jose Mourinho they make a statement and being one of the biggest clubs in the world they have to pay transfer fees in accordance with that.
“So to buy the best in the world to be the best in the world you’re going to have to pay that fee. I don’t think they’d even flinch to be honest.”
Sharpe played in his fare share of Manchester derbies – and he reckons the pressure is all on Pep Guardiola and his City stars in this one.
“Unlike United who have the Europa League still to play for, City are in the last chance saloon.
“This is their one and only chance and they’re not a million miles away from United with Everton and Arsenal still chasing too.
“So City will definitely be feeling the pressure and with Pep experiencing his first season in his managerial life without a trophy it is imperative they get top four.
“United have got a really tough run-in playing against the biggest teams but they’re renowned for pulling off results against them so there is no reason why they can’t do it. This derby game though is absolutely vital.
“The way United played against Chelsea last week is just the way they need to against City.
“They played high and denied Chelsea any chance of gaining momentum or confidence. City’s defence is their weak link so United need to get at them from the word go and don’t allow them to get into any kind of stride.
“United have got to keep the pressure on now. We’re down to twitchy bum time and a lot of things can happen.
“So they have to hold their nerve because it’s not about performances anymore, it’s about results.”
Whatever the result, Sharpe is certain both managers will reflect they should have done better this season.
“In a private conversation Pep and Jose would both admit that they’ve under-achieved a little.
“Pep would have been expecting to challenge for the league and Jose – as good as he has done – will be looking at those home draws this year and thinking if they’d won half of them they’d be up there with Chelsea. He’ll be disappointed with his home record.
Read the full 888sport interview with Lee Sharpe , including how Antoine Griezmann may not be an option for United this summer.