Talking Numbers: Dissecting Marcus Rashford’s Season So Far

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on December 10, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

After talking about Anthony Martial, this time we will be evaluation Marcus Rashford. These two players are often looked at as Man United’s future, the players that a new team could be built in years to come. Whether they will ever become foundations of some new Red Devils is still far in the future. However, we can certainly measure their progress. This is how Manchester’s very own Rashford has done in 2018/19 so far.

Limited Playing Time, One Crucial Goal

Marcus Rashford has not played as much as he would have wanted, that is for sure. He has made 748 minutes in Premier League and Champions League combined. Having in mind those minutes came across 13 appearances, his average time on the pitch has been around 57 minutes per appearances.

In such circumstances, it is not a surprise to see Rashford score just twice, both goals coming in the Premier League. The first of them came against West Ham, when Man United halved the opposition’s lead for just a couple of minutes before conceding again. The other one, though, has been crucial as the Devils downed Bournemouth at Dean Court late into the match. However, that is just 0.24 goals per 90 minutes. With another assist to his name, that is just 0.36 goals+assists per 90.

In some way that is not entirely unexpected. Rashford has been playing less than, say, Martial, and also has been subbed on and off far more often than some other players. That is tough youngsters trying to get into the rhythm.

Rashford has been making just 2.17 shots per 90, though his shot volume was never huge. Less than 40 percent of the shots went on target, which is not spectacular and he has converted just 11.11 percent of his shots this season. Having in mind the average xG value of his shots is 0.138, it is not hard to see why. He is not shooting from great chances.

Not Great In Ball Progression

Marcus Rashford has been struggling when taking on players this season. He makes just 0.84 successful dribbles per 90 minutes which is basically non-existent for a winger/striker. However, he is also a different type of player than Martial is. His deep ball progressions do not come very often and with less than one third of his dribble attempts being successful, that is even more obvious.

Still, if a player is not great in shot-volume, not doing well to get into high quality goalscoring chances and is not doing much to create for others – 0.84 key passes per 90 – then there is not huge deal of things he is offering to the team. Rashford can be much better and more direct with the ball at his feet. It would be helpful to have a longer run of matches or even play in a forward duo like he often did for England. Otherwise, this has not been a great season for him.

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