Man Utd news: Why Marcus Rashford is in the form of his life under Erik Ten Hag

By FPL360


24 goals and counting 

To no great surprise, Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford struggled to hold back his ambitions for the second half of the season, following an impressive 3-0 win over Leicester City on Sunday. The England forward had scored his club’s first two goals of the afternoon and when asked if his side had now fought their way into the Premier League title race, the 25-year-old talent didn’t exactly say no. 

“Obviously, we are there, we are close,” said Rashford in a post-match interview with Sky Sports. “At the same time, both teams in front of us are really good teams and they are playing good football at the minute as well.” The forward clearly has every right to have a new-found belief in himself and his team. Not only are Erik Ten Hag’s side now within touching distance of Manchester City and Arsenal, but they’ve also managed to get Rashford scoring goals again and in many ways the forward has never looked better in the English top-flight. 

How good has Rashford been for Man Utd this season?

Indeed, while some may have predicted a tough, transition season for Man Utd following the appointment of their fourth full-time manager in less than five years, Ten Hag has surprised most by quickly turning the club’s fortunes around on the pitch. And he’s done that by getting the very best out of Rashford on the pitch. So far this season the 25-year-old forward has bagged an impressive 24 goals and eight assists in just 36 games across all competitions. And when we narrow in on the player’s record in the Premier League, it points to an equally impressive return of 14 goals and three assists in 24 games. 

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Only two players have scored more goals in the Premier League this season – Harry Kane and Erling Haaland – but what’s perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Rashford’s season to date is that he’s perhaps now playing the best football of his career. For example, when we break his goalscoring record down into an average per game, Rashford is currently sitting on an impressive 0.64 goals per 90 in the Premier League. Which is comfortably higher than his previous best of 0.58 goals per 90 in the 2019/20 season. 

What has helped him improve so much at Man Utd this season?

While it’s often impossible to tell how many factors play a part in whether a player enjoys a great season or suffers a horrendous one, there are perhaps two notable things that have made a big difference for Rashford on the pitch this season. And they’ve clearly helped him to reach new heights as a goalscorer for Man Utd in the Premier League. 

Perhaps the most obvious one is that he’s managed to avoid any nasty injuries. Despite being considered a tremendous talent for some time now, Rashford’s progress at Man Utd has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons. For example, in the three campaigns prior to this current one, the England international missed no less than 28 games through injury. So far this season, he’s managed to avoid any misfortune on that front and sat out just three games for Ten Hag’s side in all competitions. And that’s clearly allowed him the time to build up his confidence and form in front of goal. 

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The other factor that has perhaps allowed Rashford to thrive under Ten Hag is the fact that he’s now playing as a more stream-lined forward for Man Utd this season. In previous campaigns the forward would have played as a more traditional winger and been tasked with creating goals for other forwards – most notably Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years – but his stats for this season clearly point to a player that is now the focal point of his team’s attack. 

For example, his current return of 0.14 assists per 90 in this season’s Premier League is the forward’s lowest rate since the 2016/17 season, as Ten Hag’s tactics have clearly taken the burden of being a playmaker off Rashford’s shoulders and passed it on to more appropriate creative players like Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen. As such, Rashford has become a more direct threat for scoring goals and looks all the better for it. 

Fernandes & Co. – Manchester United‘s record signings”>

Varane, Antony, Fernandes & Co. – Manchester United‘s record signings

Rio Ferdinand | 02/03 from Leeds United for €46m

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Last updated: August 31, 2022

Aaron Wan-Bissaka | 19/20 from Crystal Palace for €55m

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Lisandro Martínez | 22/23 from Ajax for €57.37m

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Fred | 18/19 from Shakhtar Donetsk for €59m

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Anthony Martial | 15/16 from Monaco for €60m

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Bruno Fernandes | 19/20 from Sporting for €63m

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Casemiro | 22/23 from Real Madrid for €70m

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Ángel Di María | 14/15 from Real Madrid for €75m

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Romelu Lukaku | 17/18 from Everton for €84.7m

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Jadon Sancho | 21/22 from Borussia Dortmund for €85m

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Harry Maguire | 19/20 from Leicester City for €87m

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Antony | 22/23 from Ajax for €95m

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Paul Pogba | 16/17 from Juventus for €105m

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