Rio Ferdinand admits he’s growing increasingly concerned about the form of Marcus Rashford, and suggests all might not be well behind the scenes for the Manchester United forward.
The 24-year-old is enduring a hugely difficult season, having scored just five times in 33 appearances. That total is a long way off the 20+ goal hauls he managed in his two seasons prior to the 2021/22 campaign. And such have been his struggles, he has found himself on the fringes of the United side under Ralf Rangnick.
Indeed, that has seen Rashford seek talks with United chiefs over his future amid growing concerns he’s may be allowed to leave.
As a result, Rashford has been linked with a number of moves, with the likes of Arsenal and even Liverpool mentioned as possible suitors. Indeed, Gary Neville even spoke about his fears were Rashford to move to Anfield.
Despite this, incoming manager Erik Ten Hag appears very much opposed to the idea of selling Rashford.
And to further claims he remains part of the club’s plans, Rashford was afforded a start as United tackled Everton on Saturday lunchtime.
However, once again, Rashford struggled to impose himself on the game. And it was little surprise to see him withdrawn on 64 minutes for Anthony Elanga.
Speaking ahead of kick-off, Ferdinand appears hugely concerned about Rashford’s form, as he told BT Sport.
“He’s left me worried and I’m asking a lot of questions about what is going on behind the scenes. Slumped shoulders, not as confident.
“When he burst onto the scene you thought ‘oh my god this kid is a player’. I think it stems from the uncertainty of the football club. He’s a local boy, who is desperate for this football club to do well.
“He grew up on success, it’s all he saw. It’s deception as a football player that you hide what you’re really feeling. I don’t think he can hide it through his body language.
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“He wants some success back at the club. The uncertainty with the manager and his contract. When he’s played he’s been out of position and not played as much as he wants under this manager.
“All those things mean you can understand why he’s like that, but as a player with experience, sometimes you need to put on a show for people that might not reflect how you feel at that time.”
Rio gets to the heart of Marcus Rashford troubles
With just four Premier League goals to his name, the 2021/22 season will go down as one to forget for Rashford and Manchester United.
As such, Ferdinand thinks the extra scrutiny on his performances have not helped matters.
“His talent is there, but it’s about getting back to the levels we know he can reach. Ultimately, it’s also about moving above those. What comes with great work and the amount of spotlight he’s been under, is more pressure.
“It’s a bigger spotlight, the responsibility then falls on your shoulders. And for a young lad, it’s hard to accept that responsibility. Did he anticipate that? Probably not, because things were going so well at the time.
“Like it or not, that’s what comes with this type of situation. When you stand for good and make people in higher positions that yourself look silly by making change and impact on people, you get held to a different level. He’ll have to deal with that for the rest of his career.”