Tuesday 27 June 2017

Brendan Rodgers offers explanation for why Marcus Rashford is struggling at Man United

Marcus Rashford has been struggling to make the team at Manchester United
Marcus Rashford has been struggling to make the team at Manchester United

Ian Herbert

Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic manager, has declared his admiration for the talent of Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford but cited him as an example of the way Premier League wealth is limiting the game time of young English talent.

Rashford has started only eight Premier League games this season for United and Rodgers he was an example of how “the money… can also work against you” in the Premier League. English football was missing out, at a time when German and Spanish football was nurturing its best talent in a far superior way, Rodgers said.

“The money can be great, it makes it exciting for people watching but for the game itself it can be difficult,” Rodgers said. “I look at Rashford who is a big, big talent - a massive talent - and he is finding it hard to get game time. The money can work well but it can also work against you.

“On my last recollection of working in [the Premier League], over 70per cent of the players were foreign players so that means a lot of your local talent are finding it very difficult to get an opportunity. You will see the reverse in Spain. With lots of players going out it gives a great opportunity for young players to be playing in these other leagues. Look at how Germany have flourished in the past decade because of young players getting a chance.”

Rashford has rapidly demonstrated his full international pedigree, scoring after just 138 seconds on his debut against Australia last May, to be given a place in England’s 23-man squad for Euro 2016.

He has made five international appearances altogether, though already a potential clash between the Football Association and United manager Jose Mourinho seems possible, with new England manager Gareth Southgate indicating last week he thinks playing at next summer’s under-21 European Championships would help the 19-year-old’s development.

Rodgers said 19-year-old City loanee Patrick Roberts demonstrated the benefits of escaping the Premier League to develop through first team football.

“He deserves applause because he could have easily sat at Manchester City and hoped for some game time,” Rodgers said. “But after about six months he realised he needed to play games to get the experience. Him coming to Celtic, it is a club that looks to win every single game, there is a huge demand to win in a certain style.

“He has been a joy to work with and a fantastic talent. He will come back here in the summer and hopefully they will see he has a better idea of the game tactically, how to press the game, he has great qualities technically and he was come back developed and ready to work. Then it is up to the staff at Manchester City as to whether he is going to fit into their plan.”

Independent News Service

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