A former Red Devil wants the England forward to fulfil his potential as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first choice through the middle this term
Marcus Rashford will have “no excuses” if he fails to reach the 20-goal mark for Manchester United in the Premier League this season, according to Louis Saha.
The 21-year-old burst onto the senior stage at Old Trafford back in 2015 under Louis van Gaal and has since established himself as a regular in United’s line up.
The England international has 112 Premier League appearances to his name for the Red Devils, but he has only found the net on 29 occasions, struggling to add a clinical edge to his dynamic all-round game.
Rashford is likely to be given ample opportunity to improve on his modest tally over the next 12 months, with Romelu Lukaku’s deadline day departure to Inter leaving a void to be filled upfront in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI.
The young striker made the perfect start to the 2019-20 season by netting a double in a 4-0 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday , with Anthony Martial and Daniel James completing the scoring.
And Saha, who scored 42 goals in 127 appearances for United between 2004 and 2008, feels now is the time for Rashford to step up and prove he can lead the line for the foreseeable future.
“Rashford has got no excuses to not score over 20 league goals next season,” the Frenchman told Bwin .
“He’s clearly Solskjaer’s main man up top now and he’ll start most games, giving him ample opportunities to score goals.
“He’s an excellent player and has all the attributes to be a Golden Boot winner – pace, technical ability, an engine and he’s unpredictable when he’s got the ball at his feet.
“Sometimes he’s guilty of trying one flick too many which he needs to get out of his game, as he does the hard part but then tries one thing too much.
“He’s still very young, but Solskjaer is the perfect manager to get the best out of Rashford. Solskjaer always took his chances and was clinical in front of goal and if he can pass that down to Rashford, then he’ll score 20-30 goals a season.”
Saha went on to reflect on Lukaku’s spell at the Theatre of Dreams, citing a combination of bad luck and low confidence as the main reasons for his premature exit.
“Lukaku hasn’t been able to fulfil his potential at United and I think it’s down to his self-motivation and confidence,” he added. “He should be a defender’s nightmare, he’s blessed with both strength and pace which is rare.
“He should be able to hold the ball and bring other players into the game, but he doesn’t use his strength to his advantage.
“He has been a little unlucky, as he’s not the type of player that can create a goal by himself, he needs service. United have struggled to get the best service into the area since he’s been there and it means he can’t do what he’s best at – getting on the end of crosses and through balls.”
Saha also weighed in on Alexis Sanchez’s ill-fated spell with United to date , insisting he could single-handedly drag Solskjaer’s side back into the top four if he can rediscover his best form.
“Sanchez’s poor form has been a mystery, but he could single-handedly bring United back into the top four if he can find his rhythm again. Having a full pre-season will hopefully instil some confidence back in him, whilst Solskjaer is the ideal man to get his Midas touch back.”
The former France international continued to praise Solskjaer, expressing his belief that the Norwegian is the “right man” to restore the club to former glories.
“Solskjaer is definitely the man to get United back to the top. Solskjaer is still learning a lot himself, but as a player, he would have learnt from the best in how to keep egos in check and take the responsibilities of managing the team.”
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