Jamie Carragher reveals what Marcus Rashford needs to become a leader at Manchester United

Marcus Rashford was left out of a recent FA Cup match against Newport for disciplinary reasons

Sonia Twigg
Wednesday 07 February 2024 15:32 GMT
(Getty Images)

Marcus Rashford is Manchester United’s highest-paid player, highly rated and was even awarded an MBE for his commitment to tackling food poverty, but recently the forward has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

This season, at times his on-field performances have been a far cry from what he is capable of. He has scored just 6 goals this season, and one of those came for England, while last campaign he netted 30 times in all competitions.

But off the field, he has had two transgressions this season, or two nights out. One at Chinawhites in Manchester and one in Belfast. The latter, a tequila-filled affair, led to a Carrington disciplinary meeting and he was left out of the squad for the FA Cup clash against Newport.

At one time, Rashford might well have been considered for the club captaincy given that he is approaching almost 400 matches for Manchester United, but that leadership role looks further away than ever.

Gary Neville said of the striker on the Stick to Football podcast: “Roy Keane only started to assume the mantle of being the dominant inspirational character at the age of 26 at Manchester United, but Marcus Rashford is nothing like Roy Keane in personality or character.”

At one point Rashford appeared tipped for a future captaincy role at Manchester United (Getty Images)

Jamie Carragher added: “Marcus Rashford doesn’t need to be like Roy Keane, he must lead and show character in a different way.

“Someone like Steven Gerrard, who was a completely different player to Marcus Rashford. Someone like me who would be shouting and screaming at people, at the referee and other players, and Stevie showed leadership through his whole ability and the respect he had from the other players.

“I’m not saying Rashford needs to go around shouting at everyone, but his body language needs to change and be the person, you want him to be when someone becomes a leader.

“I feel like when I’m watching Trent Alexander-Arnold this season, even though his numbers might be the same, it’s his body language and his change in demeanour on the pitch which has changed as he’s getting older.”

Rashford has been let back into the United fold by Erik ten Hag, who insisted that the latest incident was in the past, but responded with a goal during the 4-3 win against Wolves on 1 February, and Manchester United will hope that continues.

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