Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says Marcus Rashford needs to score 40 goals in a season to take that next step
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has set star forward Marcus Rashford a target of 40 goals in a season to take the next step in his career.
After two underwhelming seasons by his standard, Rashford has returned to his best this time around and touched the 30-goal mark in all competitions with a goal against Chelsea on Thursday.
If we look at the numbers specifically, the 25-year-old has got 30 goals and 11 assists in 54 appearances in all competitions. Most of those goal contributions have been after the World Cup. If he had started the season in that form, the 40-goal target would have been breached.
Here’s what ten Hag said about Rashford while setting a target for him (h/t Manchester Evening News):
“There’s a lot of room for improvement in his game. I’m convinced he can score even more. When you take, for instance, the last 10 games he didn’t score many goals. I think only two or three, so yes he can improve. I am happy from what he did last season to now that he brings himself back.
“We supported him where we could, with the way we play but also in his mental mindset. We are happy with that, but we must push him more. I think he’s capable of to score 40 goals in a season. So for him that’s the next step.”
United have struggled for goals from other forward players this season. They lack a number nine, hence the reliance was on Rashford to do the scoring to win games of football.
If and when Kane or any other striker is signed, will Rashford get the chance to score a high portion of goals? Will he be played on the left with an aim to provide chances to the number nine in the opposition box? That might be the case.
For that reason, breaching the 40-goal target might be tough for the England international next season. However, if he gets past 20 again and keeps his assist numbers high, it would be another successful campaign.
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It is good from Ten Hag to ask one of his star players to keep improving and take that next step in becoming an elite forward.