Rashford ‘must prioritise football’, says Utd manager Solskjaer

Rashford, 24, has not played since suffering a shoulder injury after England’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy in July.

Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford must “prioritise his football” to deal with the challenges of playing for his club and country, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

Rashford underwent shoulder surgery in August and has not played since England’s Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy in July, but he could make his first appearance of the season in Saturday’s Premier League game at Leicester City.

“He’s in the squad, if he’s going to start or not, I can’t tell you … He’s worked really hard throughout the layoff. Been really bright this week and had a 60-minute involvement behind closed doors last week, so he’s raring to go,” said Solskjaer on Friday.

Solskjaer added it was time for Rashford to focus on football after winning widespread plaudits for his anti-poverty campaigning.

“Marcus has done remarkable things at a young age and he’s now coming into his best age for a footballer,” said the Manchester United boss.

“He’s learning. He’s getting more and more experience. He’s had time to reflect on what he’s done off the pitch as well, because he’s done some fantastic things, and now maybe prioritise his football and focus on football.”

Rashford has inspired a free school meals campaign and was honoured by Queen Elizabeth for his charitable efforts. He was also presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.

Rashford bagged 21 goals and 15 assists in all competitions for United last season and Solskjaer said the club will give him time to rediscover his form this season.

“He knows that we want a lot from him but we are going to give him the time to get back to what he was and what he can be,” Solskjaer said.

‘One game at a time’

United have a tough run of fixtures coming up. The Leicester game is followed by league games against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, as well as home and away ties against Atalanta in the Champions League.

“I can’t think of Atalanta or Liverpool, only Leicester, the key is we think one game at a time. We’re looking forward to this run, every good player wants to play the best teams and we’ve got some of the best teams coming up,” he said.

“We’ve added some exciting players going forward. We’ve scored goals, it’s a nice time to be an attacking player for us as well, we need to keep that going … [and] come together as a team and make sure we’re hard to play hard against.”

United are fourth in the league with 14 points from seven games but are winless in their last two.

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