Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has attempted to end all speculation that Marcus Rashford could leave Old Trafford in the near future, backing the forward to turn his form around and get ‘on fire’ in front of goal.
Rashford was in unbelievable form last season, netting 30 goals in 56 games to help Man Utd win the League Cup, reach the FA Cup final and get back into the top four. It was the best season of Rashford’s career to date.
The left winger was expected to continue that run in the 2023-24 campaign. But he has not been able to do that, bagging just one goal in nine appearances so far and appearing low on confidence.
Former striker Stan Collymore has even warned Rashford that Man Utd could bring in a new attacker to challenge him if his performances do not pick up, with Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma one rumoured target.
During the shock 3-2 loss to Galatasaray on Tuesday, Rashford opted to square the ball for Bruno Fernandes when he clearly should have taken the shot and scored himself. It appeared to show a lack of self belief, but Ten Hag refused to be drawn on the issue as he responded after the match: “That’s up to Marcus. In such a moment he has a decision to make.”
Ahead of Man Utd’s Premier League clash against Brentford on Saturday, Ten Hag was asked about Rashford’s form. He tried to calm the exit talk by saying (via Fabrizio Romano): “He will be back on fire soon. Strikers, when they don’t score, they need a moment and it will come.
“He’s so experienced and when he’s doing the right things and the team is, the momentum will come and he’ll be on fire.”
Ten Hag was also asked about fellow winger Antony. The Brazilian spent some time away from Man Utd after three women made allegations of assault against him, though he returned and came off the bench against Galatasaray.
Ten Hag backs Antony to start
“I think he’s ready for a start,” Ten Hag said of Antony.
The Dutch manager added that summer signing Sergio Reguilon will not be available to face Brentford. He made three appearances for the Red Devils at the start of the season but has not played since September 23 due to a hamstring problem.
Reguilon’s absence is part of a wider full-back problem facing Ten Hag, with fellow defenders Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Aaron Wan-Bissaka also out of action. This is why summer arrival Sofyan Amrabat has had to operate at left-back in recent weeks, despite him normally playing in central midfield.