Marcus Rashford is suffering from his first major confidence crisis at Manchester United but the prospect of his departure from Old Trafford cannot be entertained by an even more upset club, says Paul Merson.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani injured, Anthony Martial on loan at Sevilla and Mason Greenwood unavailable, Ralf Rangnick left Rashford on the bench for the Manchester derby on Sunday, a decision described as the “ultimate crackdown” by sky sports expert Gary Neville.
“This has to be the last blow for Marcus Rashford today,” said former United captain Neville. “The other four centre-forwards he started the season with aren’t here and he still can’t get into the team. This tells you where Rashford is, where Rangnick thinks he is. »
Leading 2-1 and chasing the game, United looked to Rashford for the final 26 minutes at the Etihad but underlined their struggle for form this season with an uninspiring performance as City inflicted a 4-1 defeat. 1 to its rivals.
Merson: Rashford will leave Man Utd – seriously?
Rashford’s future at Old Trafford has been on the agenda following the derby, with reports claiming the England international is Paris Saint-Germain’s subject of interest.
It’s a scenario that Merson says simply can’t come to fruition, regardless of the player’s recent struggles.
“It has been two or three months and there is talk of moving Rashford. Seriously? » sky sports says Expert Merson.
“No sane manager would come to Old Trafford and offload Rashford. Even if I was going to take over the club as manager tomorrow morning, I wouldn’t let Rashford go!
“That’s why Manchester United are in shambles, how don’t they have a manager in place now. Whoever comes in as manager isn’t going to get rid of Rashford, so the move will have to be done before then, that’s if it’s going to happen. »
Merson: Rashford needs to get back to basics
Since bursting onto the scene at Old Trafford with memorable braces against Midtjylland and Arsenal on his European and Premier League debut for Manchester United in 2016, Rashford has rode a wave of positivity to consistently produce for club and county.
But Merson believes Rashford was crippled by his first serious drop in confidence, which was only exacerbated by having to rekindle his form in a struggling side on the pitch itself.
Merson understood Rashford’s struggles and was confident the 24-year-old could soon return to his old ways, provided he kept things simple on the pitch.
“It’s been good ever since Rashford came on the scene, you couldn’t write it in a book if you tried,” Merson said. “Now he has lost confidence and he is struggling. His confidence is exhausted.
“It’s the first time he’s lost it since joining the Manchester United team. Since the moment he made his Europa League debut, scored those two goals, I don’t think he’s lost that confidence.
“Against City, I remember he faced three players, but the run was just a token gesture, you could see he didn’t have the belief that he was going to overtake anyone.
“I feel sorry for Rashford. It’s a horrible feeling when you lose faith in football, but even more so when it happens for the first time.
“He doesn’t have a run in the team, so when he arrives he always seems to be chasing after the game and he tries to do too much.
“He needs to get back to a simple game and build his confidence. He needs to get back to basics and all of a sudden his confidence will come back because the kid is a good player, you don’t become a bad player overnight. . »
‘Man Utd a million miles away’
As for Rashford’s Manchester United, Merson was far from optimistic about his future on and off the pitch after Sunday’s thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.
“People are getting a little carried away at how shocking it is [Man City’s 4-1 win] was, I would have been shocked if Manchester City hadn’t won by three goals,” Merson said.
“But there are ways to lose football games, and at 3-1 Manchester United literally gave up. You might as well have stopped the game on the spot and let everyone go home.
“I’m not shocked. We’ve seen it before for United, they were just as bad in October at Old Trafford, City just didn’t score as many goals that day.
“With no disrespect, but it looked like a Conference side were playing against Manchester City. The possession statistics for the last 15 minutes, 92% for City and 8% for United, were generous – I don’t remember United having that much ball!
“Manchester United is a million miles away. The club is the same on and off the pitch – a bit of a mess.
“An interim manager is in place and then they will be looking for someone permanent this summer which will give whoever they appoint a month or two to prepare the team to try and challenge Manchester City and Liverpool again.
“It’s impossible, absolutely impossible. »
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Marcus Rashford’s confidence shot but Man Utd can’t seriously consider selling, says Paul Merson | Football News – News 24 | News in France and abroad