Marcus Rashford is on track to record his best-ever season in senior football, having scored 12 goals in 22 games in all competitions in 2020-21, compared to 22 in 44 last term.
Two of those came on Thursday to inspire United to a 3-2 comeback victory over Sheffield United, the club’s fifth win in their last six Premier League outings.
The 23-year-old England international has also received widespread plaudits for his off-field work with food poverty, and Solskjaer believes that his talent and humanity together are what will make him a club legend.
“As a human being, we have seen the true Marcus Rashford ever since he was a kid and his youth days,” the United boss explained to reporters ahead of Sunday’s clash with Leeds United.
“You always get influenced and your character is shaped through your family, the environment you work in and where you grow up. And you see Marcus really cares about people who have had a difficult time or aren’t as privileged as many are, or as he is now.
“He knows what they are going through. What he has done is exceptional, I have to say. Sometimes you think will this affect his football because he is such a young lad. I think he has taken on this responsibility in a fantastic way and balanced it really well with the football.
“He has a great team around him, his brother and people around him, so it’s not Marcus Rashford doing everything himself. He wants it to be organised by other people as well so he can balance the two most important things in his life.
“Marcus Rashford is talented enough and grounded enough and driven enough to be a legend at this club.
“I have to say his statistics already show his contribution. In and around the dressing room as well, he is a Man United boy through and through.
“I am absolutely delighted with his contribution and he knows what Man United is all about. He has the DNA.
“Of course, I try to look after him, try to protect him. You never know in a footballer’s career if you are lucky or unlucky with injuries. He had a back injury last year and it is mine and the staff’s job to make sure we protect him. Because with his talent, he is always going to be a target for the opposition.
“Then again the opposition players and supporters, of course they respect him. I think everyone really respects him for what he’s done. Some clubs, the response we have had from them and Marcus Rashford has had from them has been unbelievable.”