Warren Joyce believes Wigan Athletic may have unearthed ‘the new Marcus Rashford’ after watching Yanic Wildschut inspire a vital 2-1 victory at Huddersfield.
Wildschut, playing in a lone striking role, was imperious form as he terrorised the Terriers, creating the opening goal for Reece Burke before half-time and then adding the winning goal himself on the hour mark.
It was a very welcome first victory for Joyce since taking charge at the DW Stadium earlier this month.
And the former Manchester United Under-21 boss admits the flying Dutchman reminded him of someone he helped to mould into a future England star during his time at Old Trafford.
“I look at Yanic since I’ve been at the club, and I see similar things to Marcus Rashford as a player,” enthused Joyce.
“Yanic is a very effective footballer. If he’s got the ball at his feet - whether he’s dribbling with it or running down the flanks - he’s almost unstoppable at times.
“I’ve looked at the strengths and weaknesses he’s got, I’ve watched him in practice games, and I actually prefer him playing up there.
“Marcus played on the wing all the way through, and it was a deliberate plan where we did a lot of work with him to open him up a bit.
“I do see similar sort of things with Yanic’s attributes - and let’s not forget he’s still a young player.
“He’s got an unbelievable amount of pace, an unbelievable amount of talent, and if he wants to work hard then you don’t know what the future could hold for him.”
Huddersfield, under German boss David Wagner, have enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign, and boasted the best home record in the division heading into the game.
Despite being a managerial rookie at this level, Joyce admits the challenge of going head-to-head with Wagner was one he embraced.
“The way Huddersfield play, with a foreign manager, isn’t dissimilar to the way Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham or Liverpool play,” acknowledged Joyce.
“Teams like that play the same way at reserve level, and those are the tactical problems I’ve had to deal with (at United).
“You’ve got to come up with a solution of how you’re going to stop them playing through you, and you’ve got to work with your players to ensure they’re able to do that.”
It was the perfect way for Latics to kick off a daunting run of fixtures that also sees them face Derby, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Ipswich before Christmas.
“It’s obviously pleasing to get the three points, but it is just one game,” warned the Latics boss.
“You’ve got to follow it up now, and bring some consistency to the group.
“We’ve done a lot of good things tonight, but it’s no good if we don’t continue to do that in the next few games.
“There’s a hell of a long way to go in the season, and one win doesn’t change the position we’re in.
“We’ve got some really tough games coming up, and it’s not a time to get too excited.”