Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer has strongly suggested that Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford may be unhappy at the club.
During United’s defeat over the weekend against Newcastle at St James’ Park, Rashford highlighted just how poor the team was.
Since the loss, the Englishman has come under intense criticism for a perceived lack of effort and failure to track back on multiple occasions.
Rashford cut a very frustrated, lonely and hopeless figure on the pitch and when taken off, was visibly angry as he shared some words on the bench with Sergio Reguilon.
Shearer wrote for The Athletic and had his say on Rashford and indicated that there is extra pressure on the 26-year-old since he is a local lad who came through the ranks.
The Newcastle legend said, “I don’t know if Marcus Rashford has fallen out with the manager, if he’s at odds with some of his team-mates or if he doesn’t like the position he’s playing, but judging by everything I saw on Saturday in the defeat against Newcastle United, I know there’s an unhappy player there.”
“There is always going to be a lot of scrutiny on Rashford’s performances because he is one of the biggest names in the Premier League, because he is an England international and, yes — absolutely — because he’s a local boy.”
Shearer compared Rashford’s current situation to his own during his playing days, as a Gosforth-born boy who went on to play in front of Newcastle’s Gallowgate End.
The Premier League’s record goalscorer explained that after a loss or when he played poorly, he was conscious not to go for a night out as he didn’t want to project the wrong image or send out an incorrect message.
Shearer mentioned that as a local player, he was fully aware that the spotlight was on him and as a result, there were more expectations on his shoulders compared to anyone else in the team.
The 53-year-old further stated, “A lot of new signings at Old Trafford haven’t proven to be successful over the years and Rashford has had to carry the team on his shoulders at times because of that, but that’s simply what is expected of you as a local lad.”
“One thing that’s not acceptable is not running around, not tracking back and not looking bothered. That goes for any player, but especially one local to the club. Fans know they would try to cover every blade of grass if given a chance to wear the shirt and as their embodiment on the pitch, that’s the least they expect from you.”
“Whether Marcus likes it or not, I and many others watching him at the weekend — whether they were Manchester United fans or not — saw a player lacking in desire.”
Shearer noted that fortunately for Rashford, he is an attacking player and as such, something as simple as a goal could be enough to turn the tide and get his season back on track.
He hinted that perhaps Rashford’s struggles this term are due to the winger playing out much wider or playing on the right flank, which is not really his strength.
As per Shearer, Rashford should not frown on the criticism levelled at him and should take it in stride as it almost certainly means the fans hold him in high regard and is proof of the high standards he has set over the years.