‘Incredible’ Man Utd ace blows pundits away and is tipped to break major record after Ten Hag provides ‘new lease of life’
Former Manchester United players Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves have waxed lyrical about Marcus Rashford and backed him to break a serious record in the future.
Rashford endured a torrid 2021-22 campaign, netting just five goals in 32 matches. However, the forward is enjoying life at Manchester United again under new boss Erik ten Hag and has already eclipsed last season’s total.
His record for the current season stands at six goals and three assists in 14 games. He could be set for his best season in front of goal since 2019-20 if his impressive performances continue.
Rashford replaced Antony at half time in Thursday’s Europa League game against Sheriff Tiraspol, with Manchester United 1-0 up at that point.
And the England international doubled Man Utd’s lead in the 65th minute by sending a powerful header past Sheriff keeper Maksym Koval.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to the team after his disappointing behaviour against Tottenham, later joined Diogo Dalot and Rashford on the scoresheet. Man Utd won the game 3-0, taking them up to 12 points in Europa League Group A.
Rashford’s goal saw him reach 99 for the Red Devils in 317 appearances. During BT Sport’s post-match analysis (27/10, at 21:58), Hargreaves and Scholes sung the praises of the 24-year-old.
“I was blown away by the numbers there. 99 goals for Manchester United at 24, I think that’s amazing,” Hargreaves admitted.
99 goals for Man Utd player ‘pretty amazing’
“The talent is there for Marcus, he can play in so many different positions. Just needs to get a few more goals but what he’s been able to achieve at such a young age is pretty amazing.”
Scholes added: “Incredible, yeah. Not just his goals but his appearances as well. 24 years of age, 360 appearances, it’s incredible.
“The lad’s a real talent, he burst on the scene when people didn’t really expect him to. He does get a little bit of stick for his finishing, he likes to smash the ball a lot, I think he can develop that. He’s still young, that can come to his game.
“He would like to score more goals but he’s a real threat. He makes a lot of chances himself, he’s not someone who relies on everyone to make chances [for him].
“It’s a great achievement, [when he] scores 100 goals for Manchester United. The stuff dreams are made of.”
Hargreaves then made a big statement by backing Rashford to match Wayne Rooney’s all-time goalscoring record for Man Utd, which stands at 253 strikes.
“His overall game has been good this season,” the former midfielder said. “His link-up play, leading the line. The goals will come. By the time he’s finished he could have 250 goals for Man Utd.”
Ten Hag largely to thank for Marcus Rashford improvement
Scholes replied by saying Ten Hag has played a big role in Rashford’s turnaround. “Under Ten Hag he’s found a bit of form. The last 18 months he’s been a bit quiet, but under Ten Hag he’s had a new lease of life.”
Hargreaves was then asked why Ten Hag likes Rashford so much.
“He’s a quality player, so much talent. He’s got everything you need to be the perfect attacker, he can play multiple positions, he’s quick, got great size,” Hargreaves said.
After the pair analysed Rashford’s headed goal, they were asked about his best position. Hargreaves responded: “I think he prefers that left-hand channel. They all do, Anthony Martial and Jadan Sancho [too]. They all prefer not to be the centre-forward, not wide left but narrow off that left-hand side.
“I’m with Scholesy, I think he can play anywhere. If he can hold down one position, he can probably get that consistency.”
Hargreaves and Scholes are right about Ten Hag getting the best out of Rashford. He looked off the pace last term but is enjoying his football again this time around.
Ten Hag has given the attacker confidence by selecting him up front regularly, with Ronaldo often dropped to the bench. Rashford is thriving off this new responsibility and is finally back to his best.
He will have to have many top-class seasons in a Man Utd shirt if he is to equal Rooney’s 253-goal record. But given the fact Rashford is just 24, this could well happen.
Meanwhile, Ten Hag has explained why Antony was substituted at half time against Sheriff, while also praising Alejandro Garnacho.