Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has only been in charge at Man Utd for three weeks but he has already made a huge impact on Marcus Rashford.
In just a few short weeks Marcus Rashford has been transformed from a player ‘destined’ to leave the club to one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s untouchables.
The caretaker manager has already had a huge impact in the three weeks he’s been in charge at Old Trafford and arguably none more so than on the England forward.
Rewind to the end of last year and there were discussions whether or not Rashford had a future at the club with many insisting he should be looking to make a move away.
“I would tell Jose Mourinho I’m leaving in January,” former Wimbledon midfielder Vinnie Jones said back in November.
BBC pundit Garth Crooks had a similar view as he accused Jose Mourinho of ‘killing’ the United forward and after Rashford missed two clear cut chances for England against Croatia there was debate Rashford needed to leave Old Trafford to become more clincal.
But, after just four league games in charge at United Solskjaer has proved Rashford’s problem was a lack of confidence and consistency. He’s far from being the finished article but a look at his stats under the Norwegian compared to his numbers under Mourinho show how much has changed in a short space of time.
In the Premier League Rashford made 14 appearances under Mourinho this season while he’s played in all four of Solskjaer’s league games in charge so far and the improvement has been drastic.
The 21-year-old has managed an average of 4.5 shots per game (2.5 on target) under Solskjaer compared to 1.2 shots (0.7 on target) under Mourinho this season.
Solskjaer’s attacking game plans have revitalised a forlorn looking team and it’s no surprise Rashford’s average shots per game are up given the average number of touches in the opposition box have dramatically increased.
In the 14 games under Mourinho Rashford averaged 2.9 shots per game in the opposition box and in just four games that’s gone up to 7.25 under Solskjaer.
And it’s not just on the pitch the Norwegian is having an impact. Since arriving Rashford has posted a number of pictures of him listening intently to the man who scored United’s Champions League final winner in 1999.
Rashford is still in the early stages of his career and needs guidance and mentoring to reach his potential and Solskjaer’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time for the England international.
Mourinho and Solskjaer are from very different schools of coaching when it comes to fowards. The Portuguese believed strikers are ‘born with’ natural goalscoring ability, Solskjaer doesn’t.
“I wasn’t born with it,” he said. “I studied finishing, I studied goals, I studied movement. I worked on my mentality because that’s key.”
And Rashford’s social media activity shows he is already relishing the opportunity to learn from the ‘baby faced assassin.’
In just three weeks Solskjaer’s proved that not only does Rashford have a future at the club, but, he’ll be crucial if they’re to succeed now it’s over to the 21-year-old to take his game to the next level
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