Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Rio Ferdinand in savage Marcus Rashford put-down, with Man Utd forward told how to become ‘world-class’

Man Utd striker Marcus Rashford

Man Utd forward Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford has been criticised by former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, with the attacker not showing enough consistency or working hard enough to be considered ‘world-class’.

Rashford was in devastating form last season, as he bagged 30 goals in 56 matches during Erik ten Hag’s first year at Old Trafford. The left winger – who enjoyed the best campaign of his career to date – helped Man Utd win the League Cup, reach the FA Cup final and finish third in the Premier League.

Rashford established himself as Man Utd’s talisman and main goal threat and was expected to put up similar numbers this term. But the Englishman has gone backwards, netting just two goals in 20 appearances thus far.

He has lost his left wing spot to youngster Alejandro Garnacho and has been forced to settle for a substitute role in Man Utd’s last two league matches.

Rashford is so frustrated with his struggles at Man Utd that he is reportedly leading a player ‘mutiny’ against Ten Hag. It has been claimed that he does not like the style of play Ten Hag is trying to introduce, or the Dutchman’s training methods.

Rashford pushing for Man Utd to axe Ten Hag is a shock considering his strong love for the club and temperament.

READ MORE: Ornstein confirms Ten Hag decision to axe Man Utd flop, with £75m striker upgrade identified

When the 26-year-old originally burst onto the scene as a teenager, Man Utd thought they had a world-class talent on their hands.

While Rashford has had some brilliant moments – especially last season – he has failed to do this year in, year out, which is why Ferdinand does not think he is a world-class forward.

Rio Ferdinand bemoans Marcus Rashford form

The pundit has explained how Rashford must track back more and turn his ‘flurries’ of good form into permanent goalscoring into order to establish himself among the world’s elite.

When asked if the Manchester-born ace is world-class, Ferdinand replied (via talkSPORT): “No, he’s not.

“He has world-class potential, but he’s not a world-class player. He’s not proved it enough.

“To be world-class you get to a level and you sustain it over a period of time but at the moment he comes in flurries.

“He has moments where he takes your breath away and does things that not many people on the planet can do and is great.”

Attention then turned to Man Utd’s group of homegrown and English players, whom Ferdinand thinks should be taking more responsibility when the side underperforms.

“Yeah, I certainly think you should take things more personally and then try and help that situation,” the Premier League and Champions League winner said.

“I still catch myself and have to remind myself ‘he’s not a young kid anymore’, he’s an experienced player in that changing room who is looked at as a leader.

“If I was him, being at the club that long and with the status he’s got in the game, when the captaincy came up I’d be wanting to have that armband because I think he’s got the experience and the gravitas to do that.

Winger must ‘graft’ to hit next level

“We can talk about if he’s world-class or not, but all of these players need to go out there and graft – that’s it.

“Wide players, irrelevant of ability, none of the players like Beckham, Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Valencia etc. – they didn’t want to be on the same side of the pitch as where the gaffer was because they would be drilled, chasing back and running after people.

“Before you talk about ability and getting crosses in and scoring and assisting, you chase that full-back up and down that pitch and you run him into the ground – then you can start playing your football.

“These fundamentals don’t seem to be there at the moment and that’s the crooks of it. No matter what level you play at – from grassroots and non-league up to the Premier League – the non-negotiable is working.”

Rashford will be desperate to force his way back into the Man Utd starting eleven so he can add to his tally for the season. Although, it is unclear whether this will happen while Ten Hag remains in charge, as the manager seems to prefer the likes of Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund at this moment in time.

Should Ten Hag fail to improve Man Utd’s unreliable form, then incoming club chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe is likely to push for either Roberto de Zerbi or Julen Lopetegui to replace him.

Such a move would give Rashford a chance to turn his sorry situation around.

Meanwhile, Monday’s Euro Paper Talk includes a Man Utd and Arsenal striker target certainly being on the move in 2024.