Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund

Marcus Rashford: Why Rasmus Hojlund is the key to a Rashford revival

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has expressed some harsh criticism for Marcus Rashford's performances this season.

  • Published before Man Utd 0-1 Palace

"Now, he is not scoring goals anymore, and his decision-making is still poor, everyone was saying that he was winning Man United games, but the only thing they could come up with is that he was scoring goals.

"He should be (contributing more) because he is a fast winger with decent technical abilities, but in fact, he is just a selfish player who lives on the back of being good in February."

A scathing assessment of Rashford's displays so far this season.

Given United's issues with personnel at the top end of the pitch, it is likely Rashford has felt, at times, that he has had to do things himself, take matters into his own hands.

After all, the strikers he has played with in the last few seasons, Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial, are well below the standard required at United.

Now, there is reason for Rashford himself, United fans, and even Parker to be excited, as the early signs are there that a relationship is blossoming with big-money striker signing Rasmus Hojlund.

There is plenty to come from those two for Erik ten Hag.

Hojlund can revitalise suffering Rashford

After years of playing with forwards who are not quite on par with his physical attributes on and off the ball, Rashford finally has someone who can be on his wavelength.

The 25-year-old has undoubtedly been suffering a poor run of form in front of goal, just one goal to show for his all efforts, however, it isn't his approach that is wrong, merely the execution. And that's down to confidence at the moment.

That being said, there are signs that Hojlund's presence on the pitch can revitalise Rashford and bring about a different side to his game.


There are of course obvious benefits to having a number nine in the side - you always have an out-ball in every situation, you have someone who will occupy the width of the post whom you can cross the ball to, and you have someone who will hold the ball up and bring others into play - all of these things Hojlund does.

There were a couple of instances against Arsenal of how this potential partnership could work so well, but there was much stronger evidence in Hojlund's first start against Brighton.

Combinations are coming

Rashford shot m

Admittedly, Rashford was wasteful with his shooting in this one, recording nine shots across the game. However, the Englishman showed promise linking up with Hojlund, especially a bit further away from goal.

When Rashford received the ball in the wide left position, it triggered a sharp movement across the front of Lewis Dunk from Hojlund, with a view to attacking the near post. However, Rashford didn't always opt to pass in the box, reverting to his tendencies of past seasons to shoot as he sees fit.


That near-post movement from Hojlund almost gave Rashford his first assist for the Dane early in the first half, all but a finishing touch was there.

When United come up against deep blocks, the movement of this pair will be key in unsettling defences. And against the Seagulls, Hojlund and Rashford looked to combine for one-twos to create space to run into, not as often as fans would have liked to see however.


Similar actions were also evident against Burnley most recently in the Premier League, where their combination play paved the space for third-man runs from the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Hannibal Mejbri.

Rashford set up Hojlund for United's second in a chaotic 4-3 loss to Bayern, and given the early signs, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him breaks his personal assists record of nine, set in the 20/21 season.

Rashford passes made

What we can expect

We've heard Ten Hag previously speak about wanting United to be "the best transition team in the world", whether that's an achievable target for them remains to be seen, however, the Dutchman can't go too wrong by coaching a relationship between Rashford and Hojlund.

"At times last year when we were going on counter-attacks and stuff, when you looked up, you just saw shirts of the other bodies! And usually only the cutback was on to Bruno, who was usually arriving later.


"So, we've spoken to each other, we've done a lot of work off the pitch, probably that the coaching staff don't even know [about] because it's just between me and him.

"I'm sure it's a relationship that will help both players. I'm excited for him, excited for the future"

These were Rashford's words ahead of United's trip to Turf Moor and it's clear that there is something positive brewing between him and Hojlund. It is impossible to not draw comparisons of this partnership with the one that the Dane had with Ademola Lookman at Atalanta.

Hojlund was explosive alongside Lookman, linking up with passes in behind with his searing pace and creating chances of his own - with time, we can expect similar things to happen at Old Trafford.

With an easier set of league fixtures to look forward to ahead of the Manchester derby at the end of October, it's the perfect opportunity for Rashford to gather momentum with his Danish partner in crime.

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