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Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford makes the ‘worst Premier League XI of the season’

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is among the league’s worst performers this term with an average rating of 6.35 from 25 league appearances, according to data compiled by WhoScored.com.

The website records a player’s on-field actions and rates each performance – on a scale of one to ten – using a comprehensive statistical algorithm now employed by media companies, bookmakers and even football clubs. 

Rashford is not alone in his sub-par displays for a club who have suffered a historically tumultuous campaign. The Manchester side have had three managers, countless dressing room leaks, and a 15-1 aggregate deficit in the four league matches against their biggest rivals – Manchester City and Liverpool. 

It has been a far cry from their preseason optimism. 

Hampered by an overdue shoulder operation at the start of the season, Rashford has turned in his most disappointing season as a United first team player. He has dipped quite dramatically in a variety of statistical categories compared to previous seasons. 

The 24-year-old’s 6.35 Premier League average rating puts him in the company of Fabio SIlva, Nikola Vlasic and Steven Bergwijn. Though the England international’s 13 starts so far puts him ahead of the minutes played by those named above. 

Rashford has featured in 25 of United’s 37 games, playing a total of 1,233 minutes for the Red Devils. His production is down on last year with only four goals and two assists in the Premier League this term. 

Across the board the forward has taken a step back. 

His 0.9 shots per game is down compared to 2.1 in 2020/21 and his career high of 3.5 in 2019/20. Rashford has made fewer key passes per match, 0.4, compared to 1.2 and 1.1 in the last two campaigns. Fewer dribbles per game with a  career low in 2021/22 of just 0.9 compared to 2.2 last term and 2.5 in 2019/20. 

And he is even tackling less than in recent years, 0.2 tackles per game in 2021/22 compared with 0.5 and 0.4 in 2020/21 and 2019/20 respectively.

SpG Shots per game KeyP Key Passes Drb Dribbles Fouled Fouled Tackles Tackles made

Rashford has no doubt been affected by the general malaise at Old Trafford with arguably only David De Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo coming out of this season with any credit. 

A closer look at his performances indicates that the upheaval and tactical inconsistency at Old Trafford may be a mitigating factor. The forward will hope that the arrival of Erik Ten Hag will provide some fresh impetus rendering this season as simply an anomaly. 

Rashford’s 2021/22 PL goal contributions compared to other wide forwards

For Premier league players with a minimum of ten league starts, Rashford is joined in the attacking positions by Norwich’s Josh Sargent and Newcastle’s Jacob Murphy. 

A midfield three consisting of former United player Tom Cleverly, Aaron Lennon of Burnley and Leed’s Adam Forshaw. 

And the team is rounded of by a back five which includes Watford pair Ben Foster and William Troost-Ekong, Ben Gibson of Norwich, Mads Roerslev of Brentford and Southampton’s Romain Perraud.

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