The proof that big-game player Rashford is UNDERRATED

Sam McGuire
Sam McGuire
  • Updated: 26 Mar 2024 16:03 GMT
  • 4 min read
Marcus Rashford, Man Utd, 2023-24

Marcus Rashford is a divisive player. The Manchester United forward blows hot and cold and this has been the case since he burst onto the scene with the Red Devils as a teenager.

At times, he’ll be a goal machine, other times it appears as though he’s lost all confidence and ability to put the ball into the back of the net.

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On two occasions, the Manchester United No10 has scored 17 goals in the Premier League. Other times, he’s struggled to reach double figures in the English top-flight. This is normal though. Especially for a player in an inconsistent team.

Rashford has been part of a dysfunctional United side with no real continuity over recent years. He’s played under different managers with varying styles. He’s been deployed in different roles and tasked with distinct responsibilities.

If you look at his Manchester United career, you would hardly say it was the perfect environment for him to flourish on a yearly basis, would you? One year he’s a winger acting as a support act for a more experienced centre-forward, the next he’s supposed to be the main man in attack before he’s then shunted back out wide to accommodate another big-money summer signing.

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It isn’t fair to expect consistency from a player when nothing around them is stable. Yet this has been the demand placed on Rashford over recent years. United need a goal? Why isn’t Rashford stepping up. United need a win? Why isn’t Rashford dragging the Red Devils over the line? United needs a talisman? Why isn’t the Manchester-born, highly-paid Rashford making this his team?

Few have ever asked why Rashford, one of the most exciting talents to be produced by the club, isn’t now one of the best players in the world? Why wasn’t he given the platform he needed to scale his game to new heights?

Why is he the scapegoat when things go wrong but very rarely is he credited with keeping this inconsistent United side in contention? Because that is what he’s been doing.

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Granted, he isn’t close to the 17 goals he scored last season for Erik Ten Hag’s side on their way to a top four finish. In fact, he’s on just seven for the season in the Premier League. But his goals tend to matter.

Rashford, who signed a new long-term deal with the club last summer, has scored against Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool this season. Albeit the latter arrived in the FA Cup. Still, despite him not being a regular goalscorer this term, he’s made sure his goals come in the big games.

These goals didn’t guarantee wins - in fact, United lost to Arsenal and City, drew with Spurs but did knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage - but he was still contributing.

Marcus Rashford is wanted by PSG to replace Kylian Mbappe
© IMAGO - Marcus Rashford is wanted by PSG to replace Kylian Mbappe

He also assisted in games against Bayern Munich, Galatasaray and Aston Villa. These were all big games in their own right.

If anything Rashford has been consistent this term. He’s consistently stepped up in the big games to help United have a chance. That seems to be taken for granted. Believe it or not, Rashford is underrated by the mainstream media and most fans.

There’s a reason Paris Saint-Germain reportedly want him to replace Kylian Mbappe.

The 26-year-old missed some big chances against Liverpool last Sunday and this seemed to skew the perception of his performance. In reality, he played a significant role in the win. Only Alejandro Garnacho attempted more shots on the day at Old Trafford while no player created more chances than Rashford (five). It was another big game for the England international and another big performance.

People might not realise it but he’s one of the most important players for Manchester United and Erik ten Hag, even if he is inconsistent.

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