Jamie Carragher claims Manchester United ‘won’t be winning’ titles as long as Marcus Rashford is their best attacker – although the misfiring man isn’t necessarily the problem.
Rashford enjoyed the best goalscoring season of his career in 2022-23, but has been struggling for confidence in the new campaign. Indeed, he has only scored one goal from 13 appearances so far this season.
Almost two months have passed since his last goal at club level, which is a problem for Man Utd when only two other players in their squad have more than one league goal to their name this season.
Nor is it the way Man Utd would have been hoping for their academy graduate to progress after handing him a big new contract over the summer.
In fairness to Rashford, though, he is not the only struggling member of their squad at present. On the day of their derby defeat to Manchester City, Carragher told Sky Sports why the ‘not world class’ attacker has to have better players around him for the club to become contenders once again.
Carragher said: “I always think that when a team’s not playing well – which it isn’t – you’re not going to have the same numbers or the same performances that you had last season when things were going really well.
“But he has to do more. There’s no doubt about that. And I’ve always had the same opinion about Marcus Rashford: he’s not world class but he’s probably the level below that.
“But if Manchester United want to get back to winning the league, or winning a European cup, which is something they should always be judged against, Marcus Rashford can’t be their best attacker.
“Manchester United need someone better than Marcus Rashford to go and win that. That’s not really a criticism of him, it’s more the players he’s playing with.
“And so if Marcus Rashford is still Manchester United’s best attacker, as he has been over the last two or three managers, Manchester United won’t be winning leagues or European cups.”
What else can Rashford do?
Asked what more Rashford can do and add to his game, Carragher continued: “When I watch him, I sometimes think he can do more in terms of energy, making runs in behind.
“Sometimes his body language isn’t great when the team aren’t playing well and I get that at certain times, but he is still the best player in the team and I think he can do more when things aren’t going well.”
Rashford will celebrate his 26th birthday on Tuesday, so is coming to an age where he should have finetuned his game. In the current circumstances, though, there will be pressure on him to add more.