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[Sport] Why Rashford does not need to be compared to Abraham

Published by on November 13th, 2019.


When Tammy Abraham scored Chelsea’s opener against Crystal Palace last weekend the comparison’s started again.

“It’s taken Abraham 21 less games to reach Marcus Rashford’s best ever Premier League goal scoring record of 10 goals.” Another statistic to beat the Manchester United attacker with.

You can see to an extent why it’s done. Similar in age, both England internationals and play in the same position But what’s the point of it? For a shareable graphic on social media or is it more to prove the point that Abraham is the better footballer? Because at times it seems a comparison to make out how poor Rashford is.

The same happened back in 2016 when Rashford was consistently compared with Kelechi Iheanacho who was at Manchester City at the time. Their goals per minute ratio were compared, with the United forward being blasted for scoring eight in 1083 minutes of football while Iheanacho had 14 in 826 minutes. You don’t hear of similar comparisons now with Iheanacho only scoring once in 30 appearances in the league last season.

Rashford’s had the burden of scrutiny and comparison since he was handed his debut by Louis van Gaal in 2016 and in that way is hardly surprising he is yet to live up to the high expectations thrust upon him.

This season is already set to be his best yet. He’s averaging a goal every other game in the year and his total tally for the season so far is nine, just four off his entire number in all competitions during the last campaign.

And he’s managed it whilst not playing well for a chunk of the season. The England international went through a poor patch of form while Anthony Martial was sidelined for eight weeks with an injury and was widely, and rightly, criticised.

“The important thing is what I know. I know what I want, what I want to become and what I will become if I keep my mind on it,” Rashford said in response to criticism from Michael Owen.

And he had a similar reply when asked if he would be dwelling on the chances he missed in the Europa League clash against Partizan last week.

“There were a couple of times where I was half a yard too forward so it was a game of fine margins but we are happy with the three goals,” he said. “For me, it’s about recognising it and trying to correct it in the next game but I won’t let it stay on my mind for too long.”

Some of the criticism directed towards the 22-year-old has been just. He does need to improve and missing open goals from six yards out like he did against Brighton on Sunday isn’t going to help his case but he’s shown he has developed over the years.

Martial’s return should give Rashford the push he needs to take it on to the next level and their link up play, along with Daniel James, has the potential to cause headaches for all the defenders in the league.

With Romelu Lukaku gone and the club deciding not to buy a replacement Rashford can finally silence his critics by proving he has what it takes to be United’s top goalscorer.

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