It has been an incredible few weeks for Marcus Rashford. Manchester United have moved into third position and have reached the Carabao Cup final. The decision to move on Cristiano Ronaldo is already vindicated, as the team has improved massively on the pitch. The departure of the legendary figure has allowed others to step up and become more integral to the attack.
Rashford is the one who has benefitted most. He was once United’s talisman on the pitch and he has assumed that role once again. His form has now been going on for months and he has performed to a high standard for England too. There were fears that the attacker needed to leave Old Trafford to get back on track. Now, he looks ready to be the main man again and this could prove to be his breakout season as a world class player.
Since the World Cup, he has 11 goals and four assists across all competitions. No player has made more goal contributions than Rashford during this period. He is, without doubt, the form player in the country and Erik ten Hag will hope that this form can be maintained. As it has been ongoing for months now, it does look like this is the new standard for the England international.
During this period, Rashford has an expected goals (xG) of 4.67 in the Premier League, with six of his goals coming in this competition. Although there may be some reversion to the mean, this form is sustainable for the United man. Only Erling Haaland (6.08 xG) and Eddie Nketiah (5.11 xG) have a higher number since the World Cup.
The match state is interesting to look at when it comes to Rashford’s goals. Three of his six goals in the Premier League since the break have been winners. This means he has won six points for his teams during this period alone and that has strengthened their position in the top four. He is a clutch player, who thrives when the pressure is heightened. This has been the case for years, as far back as his winning penalty against PSG in 2019.
With big games coming up against Barcelona and Newcastle United in cup competitions, Rashford will be the player that these teams fear most. It is likely that the ties will be tight matches as Manchester United’s opponents are two of the best defensive sides in Europe. In Rashford, they have a form player that can produce goals out of nothing and will look to be direct. This makes him unpredictable and dangerous to defend against.
At the age of 25, Rashford is now developing into a world class player. He has proven himself in the Premier League and at the World Cup. If he can maintain this form until the end of the season, there is a great chance that Manchester United will have their most successful season in years. With just eight points separating them from Arsenal, a late title surge can’t be ruled out.