Marcus Rashford is in scintillating form, but is this the Manchester United academy graduate’s best season yet? In 25 games, United’s no. 10 has notched 15 goals and five assists.
Opta Analyst’s Maram Albaharna believes we are witnessing the best of Rashford so far (via Opta Analyst).
The Story So Far
United’s standout player has worn many hats, playing across the frontline. The left wing has proven to be his favoured role among the three attacking positions.
Rashford debuted as a nippy striker eager to make darting runs into the box. He played down the left wing along the way, terrorising backlines across the league. In time, those same backlines adapted to stop him in his tracks.
Rashford was then deployed on the right.
Juggling the varying positions across the frontline made it difficult for United’s young forward to master a role. However, this season the 25-year-old has come into his own.
His 15 goals in 25 appearances mean he is scoring at a rate of 0.6 goals per game. Throw in an additional five assists, and Rashford has played a central role in a goal once every 90 minutes. It’s not a bad run of form, some might say.
United’s goal machine
Before this season’s scintillating form, many would register 2019-20 as Rashford’s best season. Before an unfortunate back injury, the United forward scored almost at will. Between October and the start of 2020, Rashford’s impressive tally stood at 11 goals in 15 games.
He ended the season with 17 league goals – 6 of which were from the spot.
How does this Rashford compare to the rampant no.10 of 2022-23?
In 2019-20, Rashford scored 0.37 goals per 90 versus this season’s 0.47 goals per 90.
A season to forget
Last season, Rashford’s stock as a scorer plummeted. He battled to reach the lofty standards he had set the season before. Two significant factors in his loss of productivity were United’s setup and playing time.
This season, Rashford has already played 1,352 minutes in the Premier League – 120 minutes more than in 2021-22.
In addition, Rashford was forced to play on both flanks and through the middle. The inconsistent positioning was characteristic of a Red Devils team that needed more structure.
Rashford this season and the road ahead
Erik ten Hag has played the United attacker back on his favoured left flank. It has already paid dividends.
Rashford has scored seven times across his last six competitive appearances for the Red Devils.
This scoring streak is already his best for United in all competitions. Three of the goals came in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup, and the remaining three in the League Cup.
One only has to go back to his mid-week brace against Charlton Athletic to appreciate the confidence Rashford is playing with now.
There’s always a sense that something could happen when he’s on the ball. United hasn’t enjoyed the presence of such a goal threat since the younger days of a recent departee.
It’s been a joy to see Rashford pick up the mantle and torment defenders this season.
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