Is Marcus Rashford finally back to his best?

A run down of Rashford's season so far...

Jack Evans
18th November 2022
Image credit: Twitter (@MarcusRashford)
After winning September’s player of the month award for the Premier League, many people are claiming that Marcus Rashford is finally turning into the player we all thought he would eventually become.

It’s been a tough last few years for Marcus Rashford. After the original wave of hype surrounding him started to die down many started to view Marcus Rashford as a rather average, sometimes good player. In the past 6 years, it’s quite clear that the value at which Rashford is held has been at it’s lowest in the past few seasons.

It was 2016 when Rashford, first got his big break in the Manchester United side, scoring on his Europa League debut and then on his Premier League debut a few days later. He also helped Manchester United to a famous derby win in his first match against Manchester City, a game in which he also scored.

Rashford also seemed bright in the 2016-17 season, a season in which he achieved two trophies with Manchester United, a League cup and Europa League trophy. He also made the most appearances of any United player in this season, playing 53 times in all competitions for the Red Devils. Most of this time was spent on the wing however, with the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic forcing him out of the striker position.

He also made the most appearances of any United player in this season, playing 53 times in all competitions for the Red Devils

However, the following few seasons under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer proved tough, with limited starts and being played as a winger as opposed to a striker not helping Rashford to reach his full potential. Some called for him to go out on loan, however Mourinho blokced this proposal, citing his regular matchday involvment as a reason for him staying. Mourinho had also on occasion used words like 'naive' to describe the players actions on the pitch, as well as citing his inexperience on the field.

He did see somewhat of a revival in the 2019-20 season however, with 17 league goals proving he knew where the back of the net was. He wasn't without injury problems however, with back problems affecting him greatly. In April 2021 ESPN reported that Rashford had "not played a game completely pain-free in two years" as a result of his back injuries, along with ones to his shoulder and foot.

In April 2021 ESPN reported that Rashford had "not played a game completely pain-free in two years"

The 2021-22 season was rather under whelming for United, with Solksjaer being sacked and subsequently replaced by Ralf Rangnick. It was at this time that Rashford saw a particularly bad run of form, with him only scoring 4 league goals all season. Rangnick did try to praise Rashford calling him "one of the top strikers in England", but this didn't help him avoid criticism from both the media and fans.

The 2022-23 season however has seen a revival for Rashford, with new manager Erik Ten Hag giving Rashford freedom as a striker. Rashford has already scored multiple times this season, with him netting his 100th United goal in a win over West Ham United. This upturn in form saw him win September's player of the month award, the first time he has done so in more than a year.

With the World Cup in Qatar only weeks away, Rashford will be hoping he can make Gareth Southgate's final squad for the tournament. Rashford has a mixed history with the England national team, with him being criticised following his penalty miss against Italy last year in the final of the European Championship. If this season is anything to go by though, there's a good chance Rashford can put this behind him and finally prove why he broke into Manchester United's side all those years ago.

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