Ralf Rangnick says Marcus Rashford is « not happy » with his form and has challenged the Manchester United forward to follow Jadon Sancho’s example to get back to his best. Rashford has gone more than a month without a goal and was substituted early in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
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The 24-year-old’s dip has raised questions about whether he’s struggling off the pitch or playing with an injury but Rangnick has dismissed the claims.
« He is definitely not injured, » Rangnick told a news conference Friday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Watford at Old Trafford. « He definitely has no issues with his shoulder any more. We have spoken a lot about Marcus a lot in the last couple of weeks and I have personally spoken a lot with him. There is nothing else to add on that.
« It’s with him like with all the other players, when it counts and they are on the pitch — and he started against Atletico Madrid — they just have to perform and I am pretty sure he is not happy with his performance right now but it doesn’t help if we discuss that every week and talk about our thoughts about what it might be, is he not happy?
« I don’t see any reason why he should not be happy? Our results have been good in the last couple of weeks and months. The team in itself is in good shape. »
Rashford’s form has led to speculation he could miss out on Gareth Southgate’s next England squad ahead of March internationals against Switzerland and Ivory Coast. Sancho was focused by Southgate in November after making a slow start to his United career following a summer move from Borussia Dortmund.
But Sancho has flourished under Rangnick since the start of the year and the German believes Rashford can do the same.
« Right now [Rashford] is trying to find his best possible shape and performance and we just try to give him helping hands with everything we can, » said Rangnick.
« We show him video footage, we speak with him regularly, in training he is in top form. That is why I decided to play him. Now it’s about having that transformation from training performance to the competition in the league and this is the next step he has to take.
« We had a very similar situation as I can remember with Jadon six or seven weeks ago. He is the best example of what can happen, again he’s the player himself who has to perform and get the best out of his own performance and this is the same with Marcus. »