Marcus Rashford is proving his detractors wrong after a remarkable turnaround in his Manchester United form..
Last season was arguably the most difficult of the 25-year-career, old’s with only five goals in 32 appearances across all competitions. Due to his lack of form, he was dropped from United’s starting lineup and left out of an England squad in March 2022.
Rashford, on the other hand, is having the best season of his career under Erik ten Hag, with his goal against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday being his 10th in as many games. He now has 18 goals this season, just four short of his career high with half of the season remaining..
Ten Hag singled out the United forward for praise, calling him “unstoppable” in his current form. “There are more players who are performing exceptionally well, but I am pleased with Marcus, his performance, and his development,” the Dutchman said.
“He has been growing since the beginning of the season and will continue to do so. We must continue his process, and if he is in that mood and spirit, I believe he is unstoppable. It is up to the team to place him in the appropriate positions.”
Rashford has quickly stepped into the talismanic forward role left vacant by Cristiano Ronaldo’s acrimonious departure. In reality, he had assumed that role long before the 37-year-old left the Premier League for the Championship..
Prior to Ronaldo’s arrival, Rashford was up against another veteran striker, Edinson Cavani, who made an immediate impact after joining in 2020. Cavani was initially signed to deputize for the club’s younger forwards, but quickly found his way into the starting lineup, scoring 17 goals.
And it was after one of his ten Premier League goals that Paul Pogba said the Uruguayan was “levels above” his rivals, including Rashford. “Everyone knows Edi is a world-class striker, and there are few strikers like this in the world, and we had the opportunity to have one,” Pogba said in January 2021.
“We know those are the most difficult goals.
We have talented players like Anthony Martial and Rashy, who can shoot from outside and do other things, but they lack Edi’s experience and quality..
So I believe we complement each other with the players we have in front of us, and Edi can clearly demonstrate his class, as he did today. Those goals that we needed at the right time, he’s always there at the right time and right place to help the team win.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly agreed, signing El Matador to a 12-month contract extension. That quickly backfired, as the 35-year-old was plagued by injury issues before leaving on free agency last summer..
Rashford’s game has improved in recent months, but there have always been indications that he is on par with the former Napoli star. Pogba didn’t seem to notice, but he might if both United and Juventus advance to the final stages of the Europa League..
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