Marcus Rashford’s form has improved under Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.
After a strong summer that saw him net three times in the preseason, he appeared to have reverted to his last-season persona in the two losses to Brighton and Brentford. However, crucial goals against Liverpool and Arsenal have launched a comeback, propelling Rashford ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in the center-forward pecking order.
As a result, the Manchester United star appears to be on the verge of another England call-up after failing to make the Three Lions squad since the Euro 2020 final. Ten Hag could have easily dropped the 24-year-old following his terrible start to the season, but his faith in Rashford is paying off.
It demonstrates that the United manager can make big decisions when they matter, which will translate into the boardroom. Rashford’s contract at Manchester United expires in June, and his future at the club has been questioned.
Ten Hag, on the other hand, made his intentions clear last week when asked if he wanted to keep the striker beyond this date. “Definitely,” he said, adding, “(By June), I don’t think he’ll be out of contract, and I think United will have control of the situation.”
The Dutchman has now followed through on his promises, with Rashford one of five players set to get contract extensions from the club. It demonstrates Ten Hag’s influence within the club’s hierarchy — a board that has frequently led the way in transfer discussions despite strained ties with prior managers.
Ten Hag’s decision to sign players with whom he already had a connection demonstrated this previously, but the Rashford contract decision illustrates that his influence with the leadership has gone a step forward and is rising. It might be a deciding factor in January, following the World Cup, when Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is expected to be called into question once more.
Ten Hag had a say in the transfer market, and he now has a firm grip on contract opportunities, both of which are required for the rebuilding project.