Marcus Rashford has undoubtedly been Manchester United’s best player this season. The 25-year-old has registered himself 27 goals and 7 assists from the 41 matches he has played in this season in all competitions. However, Manchester United fans may be on edge as to why he hasn’t yet signed a new deal.
The England international finds himself in a unique scenario. Having been on poor form for the last two seasons many fans are calling for him to be sold, slating his work ethic and his finishing ability. It was looking as if a departure would be coming sooner rather than later for the forward.
His spell under Ralf Rangnick, interim manager at the time, was definitely not one to look back on. Rashford ended the season on 7 goals, from the 37 games which he played in. This found the club finish 6th place in the league for the 2021/22 season. This then resulted in each one of the so called “Big Six” finishing in a position above them, forcing the Red Devils to play Europa League football, something that they had only achieved by 2 points over 7th place West Ham.
Flash forward to the present and Marcus Rashford is on the form of his life, with Manchester United currently sitting 3rd in the Premier League table and only 3 points off their fierce rivals Manchester City. However, Rashford’s contract expires at the end of the season, and is still yet to put pen to paper leading to all sorts of speculation.
With Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal sat in 1st, could Rashford potentially be a target for the club as they aim to strengthen the squad in the summer transfer window? Throughout his time at Arsenal, Arteta has been keen to bring in players who have the ability to play in multiple positions, bringing key squad depth into certain areas and positions in the team.
Marcus Rashford offers this with his talent offering an option as a striker, as well as his alternative position out wide. Rashford’s blistering pace enables him to get in behind defences and his shooting and finishing abilities can be at a very high standard when it comes to scoring goals up front.
Arsenal have seen injury to Gabriel Jesus this season resulting in Eddie Nketiah coming into the starting line-up. Nketiah has had a good run of games and has surprised many Arsenal fans. However his ability to start games and be a serious option for the club has been questioned on numerous occasions as he has squandered some chances which quite frankly, should have been scored.
If Arsenal were to bring Rashford in, he would be seen as a more worthy starter at the club compared to opposed to Eddie Nketiah. This arguably also provides more competition to Jesus, driving him onto becoming an even better player himself. Rashford’s ability to play on the left-hand side of the front three also gives Martinelli some competition meaning the two would be competing for minutes at the club.
An opposed view would be the one that I personally carry. Arsenal are heavily armed when it comes to the left hand side of attack and are currently short on serious candidates when it comes to the right hand side. Bakayo Saka has found himself having a brilliant season and it is looking as if he is getting better with each game he plays. However, the only competition Saka has is Reiss Nelson who is currently injured. The other option is Marquinhos who is currently on loan at Norwich.
If Arsenal were to sign another attacking player, it should be someone who prefers to play in the right wing position. This not only allows Saka to have competition but also means that he is able to rest during European and domestic competitions. With the left side of attack already having Martinelli and Trossard, who we have seen being rotated during and before games, there is already quality to that part of Arsenal’s attack. Emile Smith-Rowe is also a name to be mentioned having found himself returning to the Arsenal squad after recent injury. Smith Rowe plays a traditional “Number 10” but also has the capability to play on the left hand side. All the more reason for Arsenal not to have an overload in that area.
Even as an out an out striker, Arsenal not only have Jesus and Nketiah but also have loanee Folarin Balogun set to return. Balogun has 15 goals this season and is joint tied in the leading goal scorers in the French League 1. Outscoring the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Messi.
If you were Mikel Arteta, would you sign Marcus Rashford and why?