The big Swede, prior to damaging his knee ligaments against Anderlecht last month, had claimed 28 goals in all competitions under Jose Mourinho.
Rashford has since taken up the mantle of Man United’s first choice No.9 and hasn’t disappointed, producing match winning displays against Chelsea, Anderlecht and Celta Vigo.
And Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport, noted that Rashford provides a more rounded attacking approach.
“Zlatan has got 20-odd goals this season but in terms of giving an all-round performance, hustling and bustling defenders, running in behind and stretching teams… Zlatan isn’t at an age when he can do that,” he said.
“This kid does, he gives you something extra.”
Zlatan is – and always has been – something of an anomaly: remarkably tall and strong, acrobatic, a black belt in karate and superb on the ball; playing with him requires a different mindset entirely. You have to play to his strengths – something that United have struggled to perfect this season.
With Rashford, however, things are far more simple. He is simply everywhere, darting to one side of the pitch to the other and running in behind whenever space opens up. This ebullient, effervescent approach is inherently unpredictable and far more aligned with how supporters want to see their side play: with pace, fearlessness and an unrelenting desire to flood the box.