Next up in our player season reviews is the Manchester’s boy, Marcus Rashford. United’s youngster had a shaky season with some great moments and plenty of uncertainties regarding his playing time. Jose Mourinho almost never offered him the chance to start two matches in a row, which could explain a lot of things as Rashford was not given opportunity to stay longer in the side and hit the form.
What do the numbers say?
The numbers say that, looking at Premier League and Champions League only, Marcus Rashford had started more matches from the bench rather than in the starting lineup. When the two competitions get combined, Rashford had 20 starts and 23 appearances from the bench and that tells a lot about the lack of stability and prolonged periods when he could have actually get as streak of matches.
Rashford scored 10 goals in those two competitions and added six assists. That is having a hand in 16 over 2155 minutes, or almost 24 full matches in 44 appearances. This means Rashford had a hand in 0.66 goals per 90, which is good for a player that lacked the aforementioned stability. It was not the easiest season for the player and he struggled to be creative for his team-mates. His abilities in trying to run at opposition players was good, but he offered only 1.1 key passes per 90 while also achieving 2.6 dribbles per 90.
Of course, his shooting must improve, as he often chose poor places to shoot from, with the huge 43.75 percent of his shots coming from outside of the box. He needs to get himself closer to the goal, as he definitely has the ability to pick the corners of the goal.
Was he an important player for the club?
Not as much as some might have expected. There are several reasons for that. One of them is that Mourinho was unsure how to utilize both him and Anthony Martial at the same time. That meant that often the two players would be the ones switching in starting lineup on the left flank, which did not offer regular playing time to either of them. Rashford played less and less as the season was wearing off, especially when Alexis Sanchez arrived in January.
That transfer made things much more harder for both him and Martial, as they how had another left winger/inside forward who was occupying that spot. United were highly unbalanced with such a construction of the team and Rashford suffered because of it. The lack of planning from the club in that regard was obvious.
Projection for the 2018-19 season
It will be interesting to see how will Mourinho solve this problem. Rashford needs playing time to develop, but also United have to utilize a player who will bring goals and assists and change the games the way he did against Liverpool. I believe he will have a similar season to this one, or even play less, simply because I believe both him and Martial will stay alongside Sanchez, fighting for only one spot in starting XI.