England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed why he thinks Marcus Rashford has returned to form this season.
Rashford’s 2021/22 campaign was the worst of his career, scoring just five goals in 35 games for Manchester United.
However, the Red Devils’ season was blighted by missteps and controversy, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking, Ralf Rangnick’s tenure and Cristiano Ronaldo’s anti-climactic return all contributing factors as they recorded their worst ever Premier League points tally.
With Erik ten Hag now at the helm, United look to be trending upwards again, notably lifting the Carabao Cup to end their six-year trophy drought.
Rashford has hit new heights under the Dutchman, and his form has exploded since the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He’s already scored a career-high 27 goals in 43 games for United this season.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Southgate explained why he thinks Rashford has found his scoring touch again.
“You can see the happiness. His finishing, you’re seeing him move on to chances now and expecting him a score. For a period, that wasn’t the case. You can see the confidence,” Southgate said.
“He is benefiting from the environment at the club. Things have settled. He has a coach who he clearly respects and who has a clear identity now with the team and their expectations and their work with and without the ball. The playing style is clear. Last year there was the change of manager mid-season as well so there was a lot of unsettling things really.
“He’s in that flow that every player and athlete wants to be in. You can’t remain in it forever and you must try to get back into it when you are out of it. But he is in that moment and he must feel super-confident.”
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s meeting with Man Utd, the FA Cup tie with Fulham, reported interest in Jude Bellingham and more. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!