Crooks makes Van Persie and Van Nistelrooy comparison about Man Utd star

Garth Crooks believes that if Marcus Rashford had the finishing ability of ex-Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, he would win the Ballon d'Or.

Rashford scored in United's 2-2 Boxing Day draw with Leicester and he has netted 13 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

In his regular team of the week column for BBC Sport, Crooks claimed Rashford needs to improve his finishing, claiming he has the skill of Robin van Persie but lacks the clinical finishing of Van Nistelrooy.

"Regular readers will know how highly I rate Rashford but I sense, and I have thought this for a while, that his finishing could be more clinical," he said.

"Rashford may have celebrated his 50th Premier League goal against Leicester but there is nothing worse than a striker that squanders chances – even when you're as good a footballer as Rashford.

"We know the England striker can play but he should have come away from the King Power Stadium with a hat-trick and given Manchester United all three points.

"Rashford has Robin van Persie's skill but lacks Ruud van Nistelrooy's finishing. Combine the two and Rashford is not just competing for the Ballon d'Or – he's winning it."

Rashford did miss an early headed chance against Leicester and United legend Paul Scholes believes the effort shows why the 23-year-old is best suited to playing out wide rather than as a central striker.

"He'll be disappointed with that," Scholes told BT Sport. "We're constantly talking about whether he's a wide player or a centre-forward, this probably shows that he's a wide player.

"He should score there, he's six yards out and if he heads it down on the target, it's a goal. His goal was a really good finish.

"They got a little bit of luck, of course they do, James tried to play the ball into Fernandes and I think Fernandes tried to control it. They got a little bit of luck, James Justin got sucked in, but it was a lovely finish in the end."

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