Marcus Rashford remains “fully committed” to Manchester United despite the club reportedly questioning his off-the-field work and coming under fire from a section of fans.
The England man is in the worst form of his career. After a disappointing summer with England at Euro 2020, Rashford returned to United with a shoulder problem. That issue needed surgery and Rashford was forced to sit out the first two months of the season and he has not managed to get up to speed since.
His performance against Aston Villa in midweek was par for the course this season. And a second-half incident which saw him give up on a loose ball in the penalty area did not go down well with sections of the Old Trafford faithful.
Before that the 24-year-old failed to execute what looked like a straight forward pass to Mason Greenwood in space in the box. Instead Rashford opted to shoot. It was clearly the wrong option.
Alan Shearer said Rashford’s recent performances looked like “a chore” in the recent win over Villa.
“It’s a little bit better, I think, in that first half,” Shearer said. “I get that he’s had injuries, I get that he’s struggling with a little bit of confidence, amazing work off the pitch.
“But certainly a lot of the times this season, it looks as if everything is a chore. It looks like hard work for him. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying his football as much.”
But Rashford will brush of the indifference from pundits and sections of the crowd. His resilience and determination to fight the government over child poverty issues and homelessness tell you that.
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Last Saturday Rashford tweeted: “I have endless respect for both and I’m looking forward to bettering my game under the staff at Manchester United.
“I’m not sulking, I’m not unhappy, am I disappointed in some of my recent performances? Of course I am. I’m my own biggest critic.”
But, according to the Daily Star, club officials have “raised concerns” about his off-field commitments following his dip in form.
Rashford became an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in October 2020. He campaigned for the government to allow 1.3 million children to claim free school meal vouchers in England’s summer holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.
But despite the club’s concerns, it will “not stop United from opening talks with Rashford in June about a new and improved contract at Old Trafford”.
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The former Academy graduate is “determined” to continue his work off the field. And he remains “fully committed to the club”.
Rashford will be looking for the perfect balance between the two roles.
United are said to retain belief in Rashford and that he can become a star for the club. His £200,000-a-week contract has 18 months left, although United have the option to extend it by another year.
It’s hardly the perfect time for Rashford to be discussing a new deal. He has scored just three times in 15 appearances this season and claimed just one assist.
United’s intention though is to tie down Rashford to another long-term deal.