Rashford has enjoyed a much more progressive season for United, having equalized his total goal tally from last season in 11 fewer appearances while also scoring three times for England at the World Cup.
“From the very first moment, I realized the great potential,” Ten Hag told the club’s official website. “And now to unleash his potential, I believe that when Marcus is behind the defence, there is almost no better player in the world.
“There’s Mbappe in this moment, kind of like him, but when he [Rashford] being in that position, he’s great and you’ll see him really improve even without the ball.”
Rashford made 322 appearances for United after his breakout 2015-16 season, contributing 101 goals and 60 assists.
The 25-year-old’s contract is due to expire in the summer but United have the option to extend it for another year. Ten Hag said the club would activate the clause and the decision on a subsequent contract rests solely with Rashford.
“He [Rashford] have to make a decision,” he said. “The only thing we can do is show him this is the best club to join, which has to do with the club’s culture and also the way we are working, in the way we play, the way we train and whether we are providing the right environment to progress.
“It’s also a financial issue. Then he’ll make a decision. But in a year and a half, he’ll be here.”
After a rough start to the season, the United manager has slowly started to see results and performances improve and he says he hopes his new regime will allow Rashford to enjoy playing for club.
“One of the first things I told him was to come to practice and smile,” he added. “We give him exercises that we hope will bring joy to the players. They have to be effective but also have to be fun and that gives you energy when you’re happy. When you see the benefit. Its, you can be happy.
“Actually, from the very beginning, Marcus was the one who came to Carrington with a smile and left with a smile day after day. And, from the first moment, I was really happy to work with him. I recognition of his talent and career. perfect talent [is] Great.
United are fifth in the Premier League with 26 points from 14 games.