By Mark Weasley
At the beginning of the season, the story the English press dwelled on from Old Trafford was the insistence of manager Jose Mourinho not to play Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford together in the same starting eleven or on the pitch. The youngsters were in electric form at the beginning of the season, scoring goals for fun either as a substitute or from the start.
In recent months, Martial has become a key member of the first team, maintaining consistency and finally showing the kind of firm that ensured that we paid around £36 million for his services, while Rashford has wallowed in mediocrity at certain points this campaign. The 20-year-old Englishman needs to find his best form as he is struggling to find a way to impress his manager, who demands exceptionally high standards of his players. With the form of players like Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata improving per game, Rashford must improve on his overall play, finishing and movement off the ball.
At 20, he is not the finished product yet, meaning he has time to develop but he must start delivering on a more consistent basis as his record of 2 goals in the last 22 matches doesn’t show a player that plays in the attacking third of the pitch. He can learn from the resurgence of Jesse Lingard, who has shown sufficient form in the past one month to force himself into the thoughts of his manager.
Few can forget the Rashford that broke onto the scene in 2015/16, scoring against Manchester City and Arsenal to announce himself on the global stage. We need a player that can take on opponents without any fear. Perhaps his best position is upfront where he can use his pace to get behind the defenders. However, on the few occasions he has played he has looked out of sorts and his finishing has nosedived somewhat.
Rashford must live up to the expectation and promise we have of him. He is one of the best academy products to have come out of United, and we would like to see him step up his game. Manchester United has given him everything and he must repay back in full measure.