Marcus Rashford’s fantastic season last time around meant he was rewarded with a lucrative £325,000 per week, five-year contract at Manchester United.
Manager Erik ten Hag has spoken about his belief that the England man can kick on to an even higher level, but some reports in the press over the summer have painted a picture of the young man enjoying the high life in the USA, placing question marks over his lifestyle choices.
At a journalist’s Q&A with Erik ten Hag in Las Vegas yesterday (via The MEN), the boss was asked whether there was “some concern about him continuing in the same vein as last season” due to his lifestyle choices.
“No, it’s in general,” Ten Hag replied.
“Because top football is tough nowadays: 60 games a year in club football, 10 international games. Seventy games means that every third or fourth day you have to match the highest physical levels.
“When you’re not living the right life, you get killed. What is important? Sleep, recovery, nutrition. Three key areas and when you don’t do this right, you have a problem. You can’t perform.
“So when you ask me about Rashford, the same also counts for Rapha Varane and for every player. You will not reach the levels when you don’t do the things right.
Pressed again about Rashford in particular, Ten Hag answered:
“So I think in general when I came in at Man United, the standards were not right. That’s true.
“I demand the highest standards in sleep, recovery and nutrition because that makes the difference if you can perform every third or fourth day.
“It was about recovery, it was about sleep and it was about nutrition. And we had to improve.”
The manager’s comments deflected the issue away from Rashford, but he fell short of completely putting to bed accusations of lifestyle issues.
It is to be hoped that whatever is going on in the 25 year old’s private life does not affect his ability to play football at an elite level.