Home » Opinion: Marcus Rashford’s reported new contract offer shows Man United have learned nothing from past mistakes

Opinion: Marcus Rashford’s reported new contract offer shows Man United have learned nothing from past mistakes

by Red Billy

Is Marcus Rashford worth £375,000 a week?

The Peoples Person covered a report this weekend claiming that Manchester United players David de Gea and Marcus Rashford are (not literally, but effectively) to swap salaries, in that De Gea is being asked to reduce his to £200,000 a week – Rashford’s current figure – while Rashford is to be offered £375,000 a week – De Gea’s current salary.

As the offer is for a five-year deal, this amounts to £97,500,000. And that begs the question, is Rashford worth that amount?

Earlier today, David Abraham put forward an excellent argument that he is. And certainly, I would agree that the Rashford we have seen in 2022/23 – or for the most of it – is worth that, as Abraham says, when comparing him to the likes of Jadon Sancho on £350,000 and Raphael Varane on £340,000.

But what if we don’t sign 2022/23 Rashford? What if we get 2021/22 Rashford instead?

And why five years?

United continue to make the same mistake over and over again, yet they do not learn.

Wayne Rooney was given a five-year deal in 2014 at £300,000 a week. He was already on the decline and by 2017 was hardly playing. He had to be bought out of the last two years of his contract to join Everton.

De Gea was already the world’s best paid goalkeeper at £200,000 when his contract was up for renewal in 2018. For some inexplicable reason, United decided to give him an 87.5% pay rise and another five year deal – despite the fact he was off form at the time.

Phil Jones was given a five year deal in the same year and has hardly kicked a ball since. There are countless other examples.

The issue is not, perhaps, whether Rashford should be paid £375,000 per week, but more, whether United should commit to that amount for such a long period of time when they have seen that backfire so often in the past.

It is easy to assume that whatever magic Erik ten Hag worked on the England man will continue and, as Abraham says, with better players around him, he could reach even higher levels. But we still don’t know for sure whether it was more than a flash in the pan.

Rashford has hit superb patches of form before, but has not been able to sustain them.

The problem with huge salaries is that it is all well and good tying the player to the club, but you are also tying the club to the player. If he stops performing, a club will want to move him on, but nobody will be willing to pay an over-inflated salary, even if it fell within their salary capping regime, if the player is inconsistent.

2022/23 Rashford should absolutely be given a bumper pay raise. But that same 87.5% as was given to De Gea is surely far more than the club needed to do to keep him happy. Other than, perhaps, Paris Saint Germain, it seems highly unlikely that other club would even consider paying him over, say, £300,000 per week. But, more importantly, five years at that level is a huge gamble for United and one which has seen them lose their shirt too many times before.

Of course, it may prove to be the best bit of business United have ever done. But then again, it might not.

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