Marcus Rashford’s impact dipped for Manchester United this season and he must step up and become a 20-goal striker, according to the club’s former captain Bryan Robson.
After scoring eight goals from 18 games in 2015-16, Rashford managed 11 from 53 under Jose Mourinho in his second campaign as a first-team player.
Robson feels ups and downs are normal for young players and is optimistic about the 19-year-old’s potential after a strong finish to the season.
But he urged Rashford and team-mate Anthony Martial to become more clinical because United are too dependent on injured veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic, causing them to draw 15 games en route to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
“They need to be just a little bit more clinical with their goalscoring,” Robson told The Mirror.
“The young lads – especially Rashford and Martial – will improve because they’ll be another year older with more experience.
“For Marcus, he’s scored loads of goals at every level he has gone into. When he first came in he was brilliant. But young lads do that. They have a bit of a dip. He has done well but he can do better.
“As Mourinho said, when he scored the goal at Celta Vigo, he’d been out on the training ground practising and practising.”
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 25, 2017
Robson added: “We know Marcus is there but now we want him to go to the next step. His and Anthony’s aim should be to get over 20 goals next season.
“If they do that, it takes the pressure off other people. Especially if Zlatan is OK and does stay. It also takes the pressure away from the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and all of the midfield players.
“Zlatan is the only one who, when he gets a chance, puts it away. Juan’s missed a few, Martial and Rashford definitely have. Wayne Rooney hasn’t been in great goalscoring form, so what you’ve got to do is improve in that area.
“If they can, those draws will definitely turn into wins.
“If you look at our record over the years when we’ve been most successful under Alex Ferguson, we’ve always had four really good strikers.
“Then it’s up to the strikers to decide who’s the best. They’ll have a competition with each other because they want to be in the team.
“That’s what Rashford and Martial have got to compete against. That’s what makes a top club – real competition between the players.”
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