In the 2021/22 season, Marcus Rashford was far from peak form and looked like a player that was not entirely focused on his football. The English international experienced a relatively poor season in terms of goalscoring, and his motivation was perhaps on the low side due to the instability around Manchester United.
Rashford had to play his football under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, both of which had very different demands which did not produce the greatest results in the 21/22 season.
Fresh motivation under Erik ten Hag
Rashford is a boyhood United fan and so it is little surprise that he plays with less motivation when the club’s overall fortunes have turned sour. However, this season Erik ten Hag has helped breathe new life into Old Trafford with several new signings gelling into the side seamlessly as the Red Devils have put themselves in a strong position to secure a top-four spot.
In the Premier League betting markets, United have odds on at 2/9 to bring UEFA Champions League nights back to Old Trafford next season. Current players have also experienced the benefits of the freshness the Dutch coach has brought.
Rashford is a huge example of this, he has already more than doubled his Premier League tally of last season with nine goals on the board in 20 appearances. Ultimately Rashford plays his best football when United are competing on all fronts and there is genuine stability and sustainability at the club.
Marcus Rashford has won twice as many Premier League Player of the Month awards this season (2) as he had in his previous seven seasons combined (1) 🤯
Erik ten Hag has worked his magic 👏 pic.twitter.com/ZnyGz0Re8x
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) February 3, 2023
Improved confidence in front of goal
Rashford over several years in the Premier League has built a reputation for being a pacey wide player that looks to drive inside with the ball and fire a powerful effort across the goal. In the past couple of years, Rashford has lacked that level of directness and power in his game, often choosing to play an extra pass rather than run at defence on his own.
In recent seasons, Rashford has played with a certain fear and indecisiveness in his game, but Ten Hag immediately rectified this upon his arrival in Manchester.
This season Rashford has been the talisman in a high-flying United side, Rashford has led from the front in all competitions. The Englishman has had the confidence to take on defences time and time again, which has led to an impressive goalscoring return across all competitions.
Rashford has scored 18 goals across all competitions this season as he has been a livewire in the league, domestic cups and Europe for the Red Devils. Rashford is arguably in the strongest form he has shown in his career to date, he is averaging a goal every 126 minutes while being deployed out wide.
The 25-year-old has only failed to score or assist in two games since the return of club football following the FIFA World Cup with his strong form in January earning him the EA Sports Player of the Month.
The last month couldn’t have gone better for me. On a personal note, it’s the first time I’ve won these awards together and hopefully not the last. Thank you to my teammates, the coaches, my family and the fans for helping me to win these awards. 🔴 #PremierLeague #ManUnited pic.twitter.com/Aw9XD5iO6a
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) February 3, 2023
Rashford in terms of this season’s form is perhaps one of Europe’s most dangerous players and few would have predicted such a sudden upturn in form following his disappointing campaign last year.
Since ten Hag’s arrival, many players have improved greatly under the guidance of the Dutch coach and Rashford especially has certainly been one of the big winners of the former Ajax coach taking charge at Old Trafford.