Marcus Rashford is set to feature in the match against Leicester City this weekend, after coming back from his long-term injury earlier than expected. Rashford has been training throughout the international break and his impact could lift United back towards the top of the league.
Rest and recovery
Rashford, 23, has been out for the entirety of the season so far. After the Euros, the Englishman had surgery on his shoulder and this also allowed time for his injured ankle to recover.
During the last few years, the attacker has been unable to perform at his usual high level. For his ankle injury, the Wythenshawe-born athlete often took injections to reduce the pain before and after games. Whereas, his shoulder injury made it difficult for him to compete in aerial situations. Therefore, both of these injuries had a significant impact on Rashford’s performances. This was especially evident during the closing stages of last season, where United’s number ten was visibly in pain. Fast-forward five months and Rashford is raring to go. The pacey forward got on the scoresheet in a behind the doors game against Burnley, which took place during the international break.
Can Rashford glue the United attack together?
Manchester United made a remarkable start to the Premier League in their opening five games. However, in recent weeks the United attack has not been firing on all cylinders. This has cost the Red Devils on two occasions in the league. United were wasteful against both Aston Villa and Everton. Attackers Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Edison Cavani and Anthony Martial have not been gelling together. Consequently, the Reds have become very predictable in attack with most teams targeting playmaker Bruno Fernandes.
Rashford’s return to the side would solve many of the issues with United’s attack. Firstly, the inside-forward offers a route in behind defenses. The majority of the United attack prefer to have the ball to their feet rather than in behind. The pace and trickery of Rashford would massively help the Reds break down sides who tend to sit deep at Old Trafford. It is likely that Solskjaer will start Rashford on the left, meaning Sancho can switch to the right-flank. United would have major threats on both flanks, with the threat of Ronaldo in central areas. The frontline of Rashford, Ronaldo and Sancho would cause every side in the Premier League a plethora of problems and this could prove to be the long-term solution to United’s lack of creativity.
Has the Leicester game come to soon for Rashford?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has kept his cards close to his chest regarding Rashford’s potential involvement against Leicester. Although, Rashford is raring to go, it is likely that he will begin on the bench. However, it is inevitable that Marcus will play a big part during United’s difficult run of fixtures. The 23-year-old thrives in the big games and his return from injury could not have come at a better time. It is also understood that the backroom team at Manchester United are keen to prevent Rashford from picking up a similar injury again. Furthermore, in the coming weeks Rashford will be aiming to add more muscle in both his lower and upper body so he is back to his physical best.
The next few weeks will be crucial for Solskjaer’s men. Their title ambitions will be put to the test as they play Leicester, Liverpool, Spurs and City before the next international break. In the midst of all this Premier League action, the Reds will also face Atalanta twice in the UEFA Champions League.