Marcus Rashford burst onto the scene with a lot of promise in 2015/16. Goals on his Europa league debut meant the late replacement for Anthony Martial became a star talent overnight. An element of luck, but also the rewards from hard work and talent.
“He is not the target man, he doesn’t score as many goals as a striker should do.”Jose Mourinho on Marcus Rashford earlier this year on Sky Sports (via Metro)
However since then, we’ve seen flashes of brilliance, purple patches you could call them. The Englishman has performed well on occasions for Manchester United, but there have always been questions over his consistency, finishing and preferred position. Similar statistics for 4 years without any obvious improvement. Yet while his side have had a tumultuous 2019/20, he’s quietly been performing well. Very well in fact.
Prolific start to the season
So far this season, the forward has scored 12 goals and laid on a further 4 assists in 20 Premier League games. This includes goals against Manchester City and Spurs earlier this month. An excellent record that has for the most part gone under the radar. Perhaps partly due to the focus being on how poor United have been and the scrutiny on Solskjaer. But also, it’s because he’s been a victim of his own success.
According to WhoScored, Marcus Rashford has averaged 3.4 shots and 1.2 key passes per game. Impressive considering the lack of creativity in the United midfield from Paul Pogba’s absence. He’s having to play the role of creator and poacher. Something which he perhaps doesn’t get enough credit for.
Marcus Rashford – Victim of his own success?
With how he arrived on the scene, the level of expectation put on him at the time was high. Too high in fact. Not everyone can be an Mbappe, some players need more time. Granted, he has missed his fair share of ‘routine’ chances and skied plenty of free kicks into Row Z. But it’s easy to forget how young he was and still is.
As aforementioned, the talent and ceiling of Rashford has never been doubted. He’s always performed well in the ‘big’ games as such. But not consistently week in week out. Despite still being just 22 years old, he’s been around for years. Hence why United fans were growing frustrated with his lack of progress. Now, I think it’s fair to say the Red Devils youth product is finally kicking on. Reaching the level the Old Trafford faithful want him to reach.
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer first game to the club, as an interim manager, Rashford was brilliant. He was sharp, confident in front of goal and the hype was building again. We fell for it, with this article HERE. But then after the Norwegian’s permanent appointment, the goals dried up. He was suddenly not taking chances and it looked like he was carrying an injury since the Liverpool game.
Patience is a virtue – Just ask Ronaldo!
Now, the goals are flowing again. Not just against the big teams, but all teams. This time, we hope this isn’t a patch of form, but the transition into a big player for the side. Cristiano Ronaldo started slowly in Manchester. He only scored 18 Premier League goals in his first 3 seasons COMBINED for United. Pretty bad by anyone’s standards, especially one of the all time greats. Marcus Rashford is outperforming him at the same age. That’s a sign of the pedigree he has.
The England international has bottle. That penalty against PSG, that free kick against Chelsea, the countless number of goals he’s scored against the ‘big 6’. It’s only a question of consistency now. Born and bred from Manchester, they all want him to do well, hence the criticism. We as England fans want him to do well, especially ahead of Euro 2020. From the outside too, he seems like genuinely hardworking, passionate and model professional. Marcus Rashford has the talent to reach great heights. Let’s hope he can build on this vein of form into a top season for club and country.
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