Ralf Rangnick was stumped by Marcus Rashford’s plight at Manchester United last season, according to reports. The England international experienced a tough campaign, scoring just four Premier League goals. And he’ll be hoping to regain his mojo when he plays under Erik ten Hag this term.
Manchester United afforded Rashford some time off at the beginning of last season to undergo shoulder surgery, believing it would help the forward shine.
But the England international experienced a tough campaign under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Rangnick, scoring just five goals across all competitions.
It was Rashford’s worst campaign since bursting onto the scene under Louis van Gaal six years ago.
And, now, The Athletic have provided details of when the 24-year-old was playing under Rangnick last term.
It’s claimed the German couldn’t work out why Rashford was so good in training and then a ‘ghost’ on the pitch.
And, brutally, Rangnick came to the conclusion that the England international was simply unable to listen to board instructions.
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For one match, the coaches had worked on what they wanted the United star to do – both with and without the ball.
Yet when Rashford came on as a substitute, it ‘quickly became clear’ he wasn’t going to follow the plan.
Rangnick ‘just could not understand how such a talented player keeps his gifts so concealed’ and supposedly suspected he could not get through to the forward.
Rashford, for his part, felt there were times when Rangnick ‘overloaded the players with instructions’.
He wasn’t alone, either, with many of the squad doubting the credentials of a man who had previously worked at teams such as RB Leipzig and Schalke.
United’s coaching staff felt Rashford’s decision-making in the final third was ‘erratic’, as well.
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But hopes are now high that he can be a completely different player with some shrewd and heavy coaching from Ten Hag.
There had been talk of a departure earlier this summer, with Arsenal, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain all linked.
Staff think he could surprise some people, while his attitude has been described as ‘serious’ after a summer of perfecting his body.
It’ll be interesting to see whether United can get Rashford back to the goal-getter he was under Solskjaer.
And, if they’re able to do that, then he could take over from Cristiano Ronaldo and become the club’s talisman.
Meanwhile, Dwight Yorke recently opened up on Rashford and insisted he needed to ‘get his head right’ in order to fulfill his potential.
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“What Rashford is going through is not anything like what any other player has been through,” said Yorke.
“He just needs to get his head right and also needs to be told he is very much part of Manchester United.
“He’s ready to rock and roll this season, he looks in terrific shape and I’ve seen him doing little bits in the off-season training, looking really focused.
“I see someone determined to do well. He just needs, as I say, a little bit of trust and belief in him.
“I have no doubt you will probably see the best out of Marcus Rashford this season.”
And Yorke also said: “I’m a huge fan. I spent some time around the club and watched training very closely. Marcus, for me, is one of the best players at United.
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“As a head coach, I’d be saying to him he will be playing. I remember my time at Aston Villa, when Brian Little came in. I was around 24 and he put his arm around me and said: ‘Listen, you are my guy, my go-to guy’.
“When I look at what Rashford brings to the team, he’s a local lad for starters and has been at the club ever since he was a kid.
“He’s very passionate about the club. He’s quick, fast, can jink past defenders. He can score, he can create.
“I think we’ve got a player there who somehow needs a little bit of love and attention and also needs to hear the correct words, even if you are in that team, you are one of my main guys.
“I think if Erik can certainly take my advice, and I know he is vastly more experienced than me, it’s what I would be doing because I see a player.
“I was a player and I can see a player in Marcus, a guy who has an enormous amount of talent, an enormous amount of talent. Even in training, the kind of things he does.
“I’m just amazed he’s not in a good place for some reason and that’s part of the manager’s job, to make sure he gets him back playing the kind of football I know Marcus can produce.”