Rio Ferdinand reveals how Marcus Rashford can save his career

Marcus Rashford has struggled for Manchester United this season  (Getty Images)
Marcus Rashford has struggled for Manchester United this season (Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand has revealed what Marcus Rashford should do in order to save his floundering Manchester United career.

Rashford has been badly out of form this season, with the majority of his eight goals and six assists coming in a month-long spell around the turn of the year where he appeared to have turned a corner, only to regress and struggle again in recent weeks.

It’s a far cry from the 30 goals and 11 assists he racked up last season or his 35 goal involvements from the 2021 campaign and his struggles have coincided with Man United’s as they’ve fallen out of contention in the race for a Champions League spot, with Erik ten Hag unable to extract any consistency from his team.

Red Devils legend, and current pundit, Ferdinand has given his assessment of what the 26-year-old needs to do to recapture his best form and save his career at Old Trafford, with the people in his entourage around him holding the key.

“It’s a pivotal moment in his [Marcus Rashford’s] career now,” said Ferdinand, speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet. “He’s not a kid anymore.

“A lot of people look at potential and talent. He’s 26 – what were you [the panel] doing at 26? We were still making mistakes, don’t get me wrong, but on the football pitch you had it locked down, you knew what you were doing, you knew what you were about, who you were.

“There’s a big decision to make for him. He’s got to look at who is around him. I know his family play a big part with him, which is great, but who are the external people around that? Are they the right people, are they enabling him to make excuses for himself behind closed doors, or are they saying, ‘Look at yourself, and be accountable for what you are doing’? He needs to look at that and own that and make big decisions.

“When I joined Leeds United, I could’ve gone to Chelsea, and they were probably the club I preferred to go to at the time. The reason I left [West Ham] to go to Leeds was because it was out of London, and the external people around me, I needed to get away from. He’ll need to either decide to get rid of them and stay in Manchester or leave Manchester and get rid of those people. It might be an accumulation of different things, but that could be a big part because the people around you do have a big influence on how you are – especially accountability.”

Rio Ferdinand joined the Stick to Football podcast this week (Getty Images)
Rio Ferdinand joined the Stick to Football podcast this week (Getty Images)

Ferdinand’s fellow Stick to Football panellist Gary Neville also admitted to concerns over Rashford’s current state of mind, believing that something is “not right” for the winger.

“Marcus Rashford, I don’t know how to say this but to me there’s something not right,” added Neville. “He’s not right, and it’s not just a case of him not playing well, he doesn’t look happy.

“I’m looking at him and thinking, I am worried about him. We know there’s been a couple of instances this season, he’s come under pressure and his form has been bad, but I look at him and think that’s not right. It’s not a lad that’s grown up with the freedom and spirit of playing for Manchester United as a kid.”

Gary Neville believes something is ‘not right’ with Marcus Rashford (PA)
Gary Neville believes something is ‘not right’ with Marcus Rashford (PA)

Roy Keane, Jamie Carragher, Ian Wright and Jill Scott completed the panel alongside Ferdinand and Neville as they discussed Manchester United’s struggles in general and the rivalry with Liverpool.

Keane also weighed in on the Rashford situation and determined that the forward needs “an old-fashioned kick up the arse” to turn his form around.

“There’s no question mark about his [Marcus Rashford’s] ability, he’s outstanding – but there’s something amiss with him,” said Keane. “We’ve had these conversations every few months – a player can have an off-spell or a dip, but he’s certainly not enjoying his football.

“I wouldn’t say I’m worried about him, but you look at him and there’s something amiss. The people around him, whether it be family or his manager, who’s on his case every day. Who is giving him an old-fashioned kick up the arse and saying ‘Come on, we need more from you’?

“If you want to be this leader, and you’re on the big contracts, then there is that responsibility. I don’t think that is happening, I don’t think there is anybody on his case. That doesn’t mean to say he still can’t produce and start running a bit more. He’s been at the club a long time, since he was a kid.”