Rashford 'raring to go' after rare injury absence, says Solskjaer

By Sports Desk September 29, 2021

Marcus Rashford is "raring to go" as he closes on a return to action with Manchester United, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Rashford had surgery on a long-standing shoulder injury in July and so has not played for club or country since missing a penalty against Italy for England in the Euro 2020 final.

The striker may be back in the fold after the coming international break, though, when United visit Leicester City.

Amad Diallo has also been out with a thigh issue, which put paid to a planned loan move to Feyenoord.

"[Rashford and Amad] are still a few weeks away, so hopefully after the international break they could be available," Solskjaer told United's official website.

United have played eight games without Rashford so far this term ahead of Wednesday's meeting with Villarreal, where Aaron Wan-Bissaka will miss the first of two matches through suspension – his punishment increased due to "rough play" as he was sent off against Young Boys.

Rashford missed just four United games in the whole of last season as he scored 21 goals and assisted a further 12 in 57 appearances in all competitions.

Among outfield players in Europe's top five leagues, the England man's 4,153 minutes ranked 16th in 2020-21. Wan-Bissaka (4,707) led that list.

Going back further, across his five full seasons as a senior United star, Rashford played 253 times, behind only Manchester City's Bernardo Silva (255) in that period.

This sort of lay-off is unfamiliar to the forward, then, and he is not lacking motivation.

Solskjaer continued: "They're working hard, both of them positive, and it's been a long, long time for Marcus, of course – probably the longest he's been out, but he's needed it.

"He looks raring to go, happy, and he knows he's missed out on pre-season, but he's done loads of good conditioning work and should be ready soon."

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan

    Anthony Martial will play the remainder of the 2021-22 season on loan in LaLiga with Sevilla after falling out of favour at Manchester United.

    France international Martial has reportedly taken a pay cut to join the Andalusian club, who it is said will pay €6million for salary and a loan fee combined.

    United interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed last month that Martial had asked to leave the club in January after struggling for first-team football following a return from injury.

    Rangnick then claimed in the wake of United's 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa that Martial was not with the squad because he "didn't want" to be involved – the forward refuted those claims.

    While Rangnick drew a line under the situation, he hinted United were negotiating exits for several players ahead of the transfer deadline, and Sevilla's tactic of playing the long game has paid off.

    LaLiga's second-placed side were linked with Martial last month, but reports suggested they could not get anywhere near the player's wage demands, and United were seemingly unwilling to lower their own demands.

    But a breakthrough in negotiations has seen the clubs reach an agreement that Sevilla will hope significantly boosts their chances in LaLiga's title race.

    After 22 matches played, Sevilla are just four points behind leaders Real Madrid.

    Throughout January, they have been linked with forwards due to injuries and a general lack of goals scored – their 34 in LaLiga is the fewest of those in the top four and 13 behind Madrid's tally.

    Rafa Mir is their top scorer in the league despite a fairly underwhelming total of six in 20 appearances, with the pre-season arrival from Wolves struggling to pick up the slack for Youssef En-Nesyri, who has been absent through injury and Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    Sevilla will hope Martial can hit the ground running after the international break, but he may be lacking match sharpness given he has played the full 90 minutes of a game once all season and has played just eight minutes of football since Rangnick's first match in charge in early December.

  • Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals

    Morocco booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals as Achraf Hakimi's stunning free-kick sealed a 2-1 win over Malawi.

    The Paris Saint-Germain full-back struck 20 minutes from time at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo after Youssef En-Nesyri cancelled out Gabadinho Mhango's magnificent early effort.

    After scraping through Group B in third place, Malawi were making their first appearance in the AFCON knockout stages.

    The Flames took a surprise lead in the seventh minute, Mhango catching Yassine Bounou off his line with a wonderful 40-yard lob.

    Morocco had only lost one of their previous 11 games when facing an opponent in the competition for the first time.

    Vahid Halilhodzic's side equalised in first-half stoppage time as En-Nesyri headed home from Selim Amallah's deep cross.

    The contest looked possibly set for extra time until Hakimi emphatically beat Charles Thomu from 30 yards to send his nation through to the last eight, where they will face Ivory Coast or Egypt.

  • Watford appoint Hodgson as Ranieri successor Watford appoint Hodgson as Ranieri successor

    Watford have appointed former England boss Roy Hodgson as their new manager.

    Hodgson, 74, takes over from Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday after just three months in the role.

    Ray Lewington, who was Watford boss from 2002 to 2005 and has worked extensively as Hodgson's assistant manager, has also joined the club.

    Hodgson's coaching career stretches back to 1976, when he took charge of Swedish side Halmstad for four years.

    His club career has seen him manage teams ranging from Inter, Liverpool and Udinese to Blackburn Rovers and Neuchatel Xamax, while he has also coached the national teams of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

    A fan favourite at Fulham after leading them to the Europa League final in 2010, Hodgson became England boss two years later, reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

    His Three Lions tenure proved disappointing on the big stage, though, with England exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage before being knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland, after which he left the role.

    A four-year spell back in the Premier League with Crystal Palace followed, with Hodgson ensuring their survival after they lost the first seven games of the 2017-18 season before guiding them to 49 points in 2018-19, equalling their best ever tally.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.