England forward Marcus Rashford has been warned his time at Manchester United could be coming to an end, with manager Erik ten Hag urged to replace him with an alternative top-class winger.
Rashford enjoyed the best year of his career last season, as he netted 30 goals in 56 matches across all competitions. That excellent form helped Man Utd win the League Cup, get back into the top four and reach the final of the FA Cup.
Man Utd fans will have been expecting Rashford to continue that form this campaign and truly establish himself as one of the best left wingers in the world. However, he has not been able to do that.
So far, Rashford has found the back of the net just once in eight games. The 25-year-old has been guilty of poor decision-making in the final third, as well as shooting when he should instead pass to one of his fellow attackers such as new striker Rasmus Hojlund.
Following the Red Devils’ disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace over the weekend, the Manchester Evening News wrote: “Rashford has been a problem solver, but now he’s giving them [Man Utd] another one to solve.”
Former Liverpool and Nottingham Forest striker Stan Collymore has now given his verdict on the situation. He has sent Rashford a warning, suggesting he could soon play his last game for Man Utd if his form does not pick up and Ten Hag resultantly begins searching for a replacement.
“Marcus Rashford is in dire form,” Collymore wrote in his column for CaughtOffside. “His season hasn’t yet started and his head is very much down. It’s clear by now that Rashford is a confidence-player. He blows hot and cold with very little consistency to his game.
“He’s a couple of weeks away from turning 26 years old; he’s no spring chicken and it’s very unlikely that his game is going to dramatically change – he is what he is. So if I were in charge of Manchester United’s technical performance analysis, I would be advising Erik Ten Hag to stick with him for so long, probably another two or three more games, and if he continues to misfire, drop him.
Man Utd told to search for new left winger
“I would certainly be looking at a new left-sided winger in the summer though, and I would want a player to come in and look at Rashford and say ‘I am taking your spot and you’re never going to play for this club again. I’m the main man now.’ because I think it could be really easy to discourage and overwhelm Rashford and effectively end his Old Trafford career. He’s far too nice. If he stopped playing now, would he be considered a United legend? – Absolutely not.”
It is understandable that Rashford’s poor body language is concerning to fans and pundits alike. But Rashford must be given time to adjust to the way Hojlund plays, and vice versa.
The pair could end up forming a devastating attacking partnership, as there is definitely goals between them. But patience is needed before they begin to tear opposition defences apart.
Ironically, Ten Hag does have another very capable winger in his squad, in the form of Jadon Sancho. While the 23-year-old has often played on the right for Man Utd, he usually operated as a left winger for Borussia Dortmund and he excelled there.
But Sancho is in the middle of a rift with Ten Hag, as he is refusing to apologise for his public statement which went directly against what the manager has said about his training standards.
Sancho has also failed to replicate his Dortmund form while in a Man Utd shirt. If the club decide to cut their losses and sell Sancho next year, then they should definitely consider signing a top winger who can properly challenge Rashford for his starting spot.