Manchester United looking to utilise Marcus Rashford as a striker during the pre-season tour
According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester United could decide the future of forward Marcus Rashford after utilising him as a striker during the club’s pre-season tour beginning in July under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Rashford has endured a disappointing campaign during the 2021/22 season, unable to claim a place in the starting lineup and having to settle for a place on the bench. The Englishman has looked like a shadow of the player he once was on the pitch.
His poor form has also resulted in him missing out on making the cut for the past few England squads, which puts his place in the Three Lions team for the upcoming World Cup in danger. The 24-year-old’s struggles for game time at the club level have forced Gareth Southgate to overlook him.
However, a fresh start in the summer under a new manager could be exactly what the forward needs to shake off his poor form. ten Hag’s arrival promises a new dawn at Old Trafford, with the Dutchman expected to usher in a new era and build a new-look squad.
New role during pre-season for Rashford
The ex-Ajax Amsterdam boss will take charge of the team for the first time during pre-season, with the English side heading to Thailand and Australia in July. The Red Devils are set to face Liverpool, Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace, and Aston Villa in friendly games, and Rashford is one of the stars who will be part of the travelling team.
Sources close to the club have indicated that Rashford could be given a new lease of life in Manchester by playing in the centre-forward position during the pre-season tour if ten Hag is unable to sign a new striker in the summer transfer window.
Under interim manager Ralf Rangnick last term, Rashford saw himself fall down the pecking order in the attack. Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani have been preferred to the Carrington graduate in the striker position, while Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga have been picked ahead of him on the flank.
Even in situations where Ronaldo and Cavani have not been available for selection, Rangnick has chosen to play other players through the middle instead of affording Rashford a chance. The England international has played as a striker in the early years of his career but has been utilised as a winger in recent times.
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Ever since March’s Manchester derby, where it was revealed that Rashford was considering his future at his boyhood club, the player has not received any direct clarity on his position in the team. With Rangnick now replaced by ten Hag, perhaps this position could change in the coming months.
A new striker is being looked at by the new manager, but if Rashford proves to be a hit and channels his form from his debut season at the club as a centre-forward, perhaps the interest in a fresh face up front may be cooled.