Premier League • England

Mikel Arteta told to avoid Arsenal deal for Marcus Rashford as pundit names major weakness

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United forward, during the Premier League match against Tottenham

Arsenal have been told that moving for Marcus Rashford may prove a mistake this summer with a big reason listed why the Manchester United man is not good enough to lead the line for the Gunners.

The 24-year-old striker is at something of a career crossroads, having seen his form at Old Trafford badly stall this season. Rashford – a player with huge natural talent – is understood to be seeking talks with Ralf Rangnick to determine his future with United. Amid concerns over a lack of playing time, the interim manager has responded by telling the striker he can leave if unhappy.

Such has been Rashford’s poor form that he has just 10 Premier League starts this season. That tally has seen him score just five goals – comfortably his worst season at Manchester United since emerging as a teenager under Louis van Gaal.

And having lost his place in the England set-up, alarm bells will be ringing for Rashford in a World Cup year. Competition is strong in England’s forward ranks, meaning any loss of form will see Gareth Southgate turning to alternatives.

As a result of his struggles, Rashford has been strongly linked with a summer move to Arsenal.

The Gunners themselves need attacking reinforcements this summer. With Alexander Lacazette, as it stands, and Eddie Nketiah set to depart, Arsenal could be left without a senior recognised striker this summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed in January to Barcelona in what may be the first of three departures.

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are also reportedly looking at Rashford. However, as far as a move to Arsenal is concerned, pundit Tony Cascarino claims he’s one player Mikel Arteta should avoid.

‘Arsenal need clinical striker’

“To be a natural striker – and this is something I learned along the way, and I got better at as I got older – so Marcus could become better, because there’s no reason why someone can’t improve, you have to be very, very clinical,” Cascarino told talkSPORT.

“You have to punish because, if you’re going to a club like Arsenal, they’re looking to progress. They want to be a Champions League team, so you have to be clinical in front of goal.

“I joked and sometimes called Lacazette ‘Lack a finish’. OK, so maybe that is a bit harsh because I think he’s a decent player. But he’s not being clinical enough for Arsenal.

“They’ve needed that, for him to be punishing teams. But I don’t think Marcus is ready to do that at Arsenal.”

Arsenal want to sign Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford is down the pecking order at Manchester United and Arsenal want to sign him to add a much needed striker to their ranks.

Whether Arsenal do go for Rashford remains to be seen. It also is in some doubt as to what sort of fee United could want for the forward.

His deal at Old Trafford, however, does expire in summer 2023. And that surely increases the fact that a decision on his future looks likely this summer.

Rangnick sends Marcus Rashford a message

Perhaps more worryingly for Rashford is the fact that Rangnick hasn’t exactly made clear his wish to keep him.

For any player in his situation he wants to hear words of comfort. Rangnick, however, appears very much open to his sale.

When addressing Rashford’s situation earlier this month, Rangnick made it clear that Rashford can leave if he’s not entirely happy.

“I don’t think that he’s not had enough game time,” Rangnick told The Guardian. “Marcus Rashford has had 13-14 games since I’ve been here now. He’s played more games from the start than he didn’t play from the start.

“I don’t think this is an issue and he never said anything about that since we spoke yesterday [Thursday]. But the [transfer] window is closed now. Even suppose he and his agents or his family at one stage of the summer think about maybe going to another club, well then he can do that but in the summer.

“I spoke with him Thursday and the day before so I don’t know anything about him being unhappy. He didn’t say anything to me. He said to me that he is still happy. And that he wants to perform on a high level for the club. There was no mention of him not being happy here.”

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