As the new year approaches, Manchester United look destined to be entering 2018 sitting in second place in the Premier League, a position that in context is actually a disappointing sight for many fans, lying behind neighbours Manchester City by a monstrous 15 points. The rather unreachable gap between United and City has inevitably sparked frustration amongst the United fan-base across the last few weeks, with many players facing the brunt of criticism, some warranted and others perhaps not so much.
One player that hasn’t been experiencing the best run of form in the Red Devil jersey of late is usual fan favourite Marcus Rashford, having managed just one goal in the last eleven Premier League games. Despite looking as lively as ever, bursting down the left flank with his electrifying pace and sharp-witted dribbling, the young Englishman is lacking some composure in the final third and this is something that fans will have to temporarily come to terms with.
Having burst onto the scene almost two years ago, marking his debut with a brace against Midtjylland and providing the Old Trafford faithful with a historic moment by becoming United’s youngest ever scorer in a European competition, Rashford’s quick routed journey to the top really was computer game worthy material. The then 18 year old certainly provided the much needed injection of pace, skill and youth into Louis Van Gaal’s rather stagnant looking side, providing himself as an effective tool till the end of the season, registering eight goals in just eighteen games.
The young Englishman certainly took to life at senior level with ease, possessing not just such advanced technical ability for a teenager, but also the physicality and desire required to maintain selection in the Premier League. As a player who has excelled expectations and also progressed so quickly, Rashford is now not a player who is judged as being a ‘young player’ or even be excused due to being ‘inexperienced’ but is now treated by fans as an equal and regular member of the Manchester United squad.
This heavy responsibility already lying on Rashford’s shoulders is most certainly a rare expectation from fans on a young player, even at a club that has produced some of England’s finest talents down the generations, but fans must remain patient with the rising star. Whilst the likes of Memphis Depay and Adnan Januzaj slowly faded out of the United picture and even other younger prodigies such as Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Andreas Pereira being chosen to develop on a loan basis, Rashford remains at the heart of United’s picture and will continue to be a trusted member of Jose Mourinho’s squad.
The Englishman, like any other player, should certainly not be immune to any criticism but fans should also consider importance behind a tough journey that young players have to endure, in order of reaching their full potential. The twenty year old certainly still has much to add to his game, but as player that has Manchester United running through his veins, Rashford is certainly a talent that will be worth the wait.