Marcus Rashford has been told by Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick to follow the example of team-mate Jadon Sancho if he wants to get back to his best, with the summer signing having been United’s most prominent player since the turn of the year after a poor spell of form.
Rashford was a key outlet for United last season, scoring 21 goals in 57 games as the Red Devils recorded a second-placed finish alongside finishing as runners up in the Europa League.
He has been a major part of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era since making his debut under Louis van Gaal in the Europa League aged just 18.
He is closing in on his 100th goal for the club having recently turned 24, and United fans are generally supportive of their homegrown star.
But the philanthropic winger has been admittedly poor this season, scoring just five goals with the Red Devils’ only hope of silverware this season now the Champions League.
And Rangnick alluded to the fact that Sancho underwent a similar dry patch in his United career before recently turning his season around, in a plea to spur Rashford on to bigger and better things for his side.
“He is definitely not injured. He definitely has no issues with his shoulder any more,” Rangnick said of the Mancunian.
“We have spoken a lot about Marcus in the last couple of weeks and I have personally spoken a lot with him. It’s with him like with all the other players, when it counts and they are on the pitch, they just have to perform and I am pretty sure he is not happy with his performances right now.
“Is he not happy? I don’t see any reason why he should not be happy? Our results have been good in the last couple of weeks and months.
“Right now he is trying to find his best possible shape and performance, and we just try to give him helping hands with everything we can. We show him video footage and we speak with him regularly.
“In training he is in top form. That is why I decided to play him (in Madrid). Now it’s about having that transformation from training performance to the competition in the league – and this is the next step he has to take.”
Rangnick then made a comparison to team-mate Sancho, who had an incredibly difficult start to life at Old Trafford.
The £71million signing was berated by fans for some of his lacklustre performances at the Theatre of Dreams.
But over the course of the last month, Sancho has become United’s star man with two goals and two assists in his last six games as the Red Devils look to cement a fourth-placed finish by the season end – with Rashford being tipped to do the same by Rangnick.
He added: “We had a very similar situation, if I remember, with Jadon six or seven weeks ago.
“He is the best example of what can happen, again it’s the player himself who has to perform and get the best out of his own performance – and this is the same with Marcus.”
United take on Watford on Saturday in what many believe should be a comfortable win for the Red Devils.
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