How Erik ten Hag’s Summer Decision Transformed Marcus Rashford

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their first goal.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

A quick scurry of a finish, Stretford End is ecstatic and Marcus Rashford points to his head yet again.

While the above is certainly the story of the goal-hungry Manchester United forward, it cannot be denied that he is doing a lot more than just pointing at his head.

In fact, in recent games, the United academy graduate has been very adept at heading in neat goals once the right passes or crosses come his way. This is not just an outlier situation as highlighted by the two headed goals he scored in as many games against Leeds United over the last few days.

It is quite a telling indication of Rashford’s growth as a total attacker that he has now netted 4 headed goals this season thus far. For context as to why this matters a lot, the 25-year-old has only managed 5 headed goals in the entirety of his career thus far.

If anything, this points to the impact that Erik ten Hag has had over the resurgence of the youngster. The key here can also be traced back to a back room appointment that Ten Hag oversaw earlier on. The summer arrival of Benni McCarthy appears to have directly aided the attacking ethos of Rashford and company and fans do agree.

Rashford’s form in the final full season of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as well as during the forgettable days of Ralf Ragnick was a paltry affair, often dotted with injuries. The once fearsome striker was struggling to receive and execute passes well.

Under Ten Hag and McCarthy though, and especially after the World Cup, Rashford has been in blistering form. Decisions on the training ground as well as an all-round attacking push from the Dutch coach are clearly to be credited for this resurgence in goal-scoring intent.

Some fans have even advocated the possibility of Rashford being deployed as a centre-forward more often. Given how he is seldom putting a wrong foot forward these days, fans shouldn’t be surprised if the gaffer decided to assign more responsibilities to him.