It would be a bit of an understatement to suggest Marcus Rashford hasn’t enjoyed the best of times since recovering from surgery on a shoulder injury that kept him out for the start of this season.
After scoring three goals in his first four games upon his return, the Manchester United forward looked set to be a huge part of the club’s bid to challenge for the Premier League title – since then it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped for both Rashford and United.
The club’s management of Rashford definitely hasn’t helped his cause. He was severely overplayed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was rarely out of the side despite carrying a number of niggling injuries.
Rashford now finds himself at a crucial point in his career, yet at 24 years of age, it’s still unclear what his role in the side actually is.
His movement and finishing are not at the required standard to be an out-and-out striker, while his decision making needs to be better if he’s to play on the wing.
Rashford is in need of a coach who sees his talent and knows how best to utilise it. Whether Ralf Rangnick is that man remains to be seen, but if United choose Mauricio Pochettino to succeed Rangnick in the summer then we could see Rashford fulfil his enormous potential.
Pochettino brought Son Heung-min to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2015 and in his first season the South Korean scored just four Premier League goals in 28 matches.
However, the following campaign he scored an impressive 21 goals and registered 14 assists in all competitions, with Pochettino transforming him from a nippy winger into a prolific frontman.
Son’s key attributes are very similar to Rashford’s, though the two have quite different styles of play. Whereas Rashford tends to slow down before looking to beat a man with trickery, Son, who is currently valued at £72m by Transfermarkt, seems to play at 100mph and he uses his tight ball control to make his way past opponents.
This also allows Tottenham to play on the break, something United have looked to do themselves on a number of occasions this season, most notably against Son’s Spurs back in October.
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The second quality that sets Son apart from Rashford is his decision making.
There have been too many instances this season where Rashford looks to have decided what he’s going to do with the ball before he’s even received it, instead of changing his approach depending on how the opposition look to defend against him.
Rashford is clearly a talented player who is just struggling for confidence, and Rangnick could do a lot worse than to look at Son’s development under Pochettino as he tries to get the England international back to his best.
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