The interim manager wants Marcus Rashford to follow in the footsteps of club great Cristiano Ronaldo and score more goals from inside the penalty area
Rashford netted arguably the most crucial goal of his career on Wednesday night, with his nerveless late penalty handing Manchester United a remarkable second-leg comeback aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16. Not surprisingly, the academy graduate has been superb since Solskjaer took charge at Old Trafford in December, but the caretaker boss wants the 21-year-old to develop his game further by studying the likes of Ronaldo and teammate Romelu Lukaku.
“I keep battering him with that he also should score as many goals as Rom (Lukaku),” Solskjaer said. “You should always get those simple tap ins, finishes, like Rom’s scored the last few games. Rashy’s goals sometimes are worldies and he does have a sensational strike of the ball but you see the change in Cristiano’s goals from when he was young to now, he scores more from inside the box and that’s what Rashy has to improve as well.”
Rashford has notched six goals in 11 Premier League appearances since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho, and has played all but one game in all competitions under the Norwegian. United have also been unbeaten domestically under Solskjaer, which has seen them rise to fourth in the Premier League table, above Chelsea and Arsenal, who they play in a decisive clash on Sunday.
Having made his first-team debut in 2016 after a cloud of injuries forced then manager Louis van Gaal to look towards his academy players, Rashford has already played 159 times for the club, scoring 43 goals. “We all know all the legends we’ve had at this club that have stayed so long and they’ve been one-club players and we hope that Rashy is going to be one of them,” Solskjaer said. “It’s both up to him and us of course. If he keeps producing he’ll stay in the team and that’s up to him to stay in the team.”
Solksjaer was not wrong in saying that Rashford need to be more involved inside the penalty area, basically saying that the young star still has a lot to learn and develop to fulfil his true potential. That the club great was himself a striker will do both a world of good in helping improve aspects of the England stars game, and playing alongside someone Lukaku should also be a big bonus.