Marcus Rashford had been linked with a move away from Manchester United to clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in recent years, and speaking to the press on Sunday, he admitted that he had considered quitting Old Trafford before the arrival of Erik ten Hag from Ajax as the club’s new manager, who secured the League Cup in his first season.
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford admitted that he had considered leaving the club before Erik ten Hag arrived as manager.
Rashford had been linked with a move to teams such as Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before the Dutchman joined from Ajax last summer, and he had a contract that was due to run out in 2024.
He has since signed a new five-year contract to remain at Old Trafford, and enjoyed perhaps his best season at the club in Ten Hag’s first campaign as United qualified for the Champions League and won the League Cup.
Rashford won the Player’s Player of the Year and United’s Player of the Year awards as he scored 30 goals in all competitions and continued to represent the England national team.
He explained to the press that he had considered leaving, saying:
“Before the manager came maybe a little bit.
“But it’s football, it happens. Everything is going to happen for a reason and he came to the club at the right time for me, the timing worked out.”
Asked what had changed, he answered:
“Freedom. We were just a little bit rigid in the past, sometimes you’re not enjoying your football and that was the case with me. I wasn’t enjoying my football as much as I should be, as much I was used to enjoying it.
“Because of that it influenced my performance and ultimately that’s how I am as a person; if I’m not happy then it’s difficult for me to play my best football.
“I’m hungry to keep improving and when the squad and the players and the staff keep improving and getting used to each other, pushing ourselves to be better than we were the year before. Ultimately that’s the only way we’re going to get back to winning trophies consistently.
“He always wants you to improve, whether it’s physically or mentally, for us as players it’s important he works on both sides with us and if he sees an obvious place to make improvement then he doesn’t shy away from telling it. It’s important for development and you never really stop developing throughout your career.”
United had seen Cristiano Ronaldo depart the club towards the end of last year which put more pressure on Rashford to provide goals for the club, and while he rose to the challenge, he should be able to operate more from his preferred left-wing position after Ten Hag reportedly clinched a deal to bring in Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta.
If Hojlund arrives he will be the third summer signing, joining goalkeeper Andre Onana and midfielder Mason Mount.
Ten Hag’s side are currently in the US and are preparing for a friendly with Borussia Dortmund. They have already beaten Arsenal 2-0, lost 3-1 to League Two side Wrexham and 2-0 to Real Madrid.
Their season begins on August 14 when they host Wolves in the Premier League.