Manchester United must take an important three points against Tottenham Hotspur this evening at Old Trafford as the race for Champions League qualification gets tighter.
Conceding a second consecutive defeat against Spurs today would put United in a vulnerable position in their pursuit of a top-four finish, as three points for Antonio Conte’s side would see them push the Red Devils further down the table into sixth, leapfrogging them in the Premier League table.
With that in mind, the German will need to put out his best team today following a disappointing defeat last weekend in the Manchester derby, and following another week of negative headlines for the club, this could be Rangnick’s opportunity to drop an out-of-form and unsettled Marcus Rashford.
It is no secret that the 24-year-old forward has been having problems at his boyhood club this season, and these issues were further highlighted when it was revealed that he is now considering his future at Old Trafford according to reports from Fabrizio Romano, the day after he was not selected to start against Manchester City.
Rangnick spoke in his pre-match press conference regarding the reports and was clear about his feelings on the forward’s potential exit, saying: “Even suppose he and his agents or his family at one stage of the summer think about maybe going to another club, well then he can do that but in the summer.”
In terms of Rashford’s output this season, he has been scathed repeatedly for poor performances. Jamie Carragher claimed that the 24-year-old’s performances are “not acceptable” and former Man United player Micky Gray labelledthe forward “absolutely shocking”, and it’s no wonder when you look at his statistics in the Premier League.
Rashford has become more of a hindrance than a help in the attacking ranks at Old Trafford, scoring just four goals this season during his 18 league outings, losing possession of the ball on average once every 2.8 touches. He has also lost the majority of his duels (58%), and his goal conversion compared to his shots is 21% according to SofaScore.
With a high-pressure match against Spurs this evening, it would be best for Rangnick to axe Rashford from the team. Given the headlines surrounding the player’s future, alongside his disappointing performances, the forward could do with being kept out of the firing line.
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