Talking Numbers: A Look Into Marcus Rashford And His Manchester United 2020-21 Season

Manchester United are still on the international break, the last one for this year. The November international break usually makes the last break before the hectic part of the campaign starts. That will never be more true than this season, which started later than usual. But, while we are still waiting for many Manchester United players to return from international duty, we are going to start talking about certain individual players in this team and see how their season has been going in the past two months.

The first one we are going to talk about here is Marcus Rashford. It is a really simple choice – Rashford is growing and maturing into one of the most important players Man United have now. Also, the fact his work outside of the pitch is something the whole nation should embrace only helps his cause. We will talk only about football here, however.

Expected Goals And Chance Creation

So far this season, Rashford has played all seven matches in the Premier League, featuring in all 630 minutes of playing time. During that time, he has scored two goals and made three assists. That works out to 0.71 goal contributions per 90 minutes so far, which is not bad at all, especially for someone who is a winger.

However, his underlying numbers are not as ideal, although on a small sample size. His expected goals are 1.7 which works to 0.24 xG per 90 minutes and he also has just 0.14 expected assists. That, however, should not be taken too strongly at this point of the season. What is a much higher overperformance is his performances in the Champions League.

Rashford played just 193 minutes of Champions League football so far, but has already scored four goals from just nine shots in total, six of which were going on target. That is a great overperformance and we should not expect Rashford to just keep scoring goals at such a high rate. What we should expect is him creating more for others, as Rashford has made just 13 key passes in both of these competitions put together.

Other Fun Numbers

Rashford has been making 1.71 successful dribbles per 90 minutes with a success rate of 57 per cent. That is not ideal, but Rashford is doing of plenty of other things as well. He is making 1.00 shots on target per 90 minutes, which gets him in top 30 in the league, with plenty of players ahead of him having that rate with much less minutes on the pitch.

Also, a good thing to know about Rashford is the positioning of his shots. In the past three seasons, the average distance of Rashford’s shots in the league has been going down. First it was 19.6 yards from goal in 2017-18, then 18.9 yards, then 18.4 yards. So far in 2020-21, that is down to 18.2 yards and hopefully with maturity and experience, Rashford will continue getting closer to goal when shooting.

Rasfhord’s season has started well, maybe even better than his underlying numbers would suggest. However, we should note that Man United’s overall start of the season has not been great, especially in the league and an individual still operates inside of a team.

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