Manchester United have suffered a big blow ahead of their Europa League clash against Sheriff Tiraspol this evening, with manager Erik ten Hag confirming that Marcus Rashford would be absent through injury.
The Dutch manager spoke to the press about Rashford ahead of United’s crucial trip to Moldova, with three points a must after the disappointing defeat against Real Sociedad in their Group E opener.
Ten Hag said:
“He’s not available, a consequence after Arsenal. He has a muscle injury.
“I don’t think too long, but I don’t know. It’s not really bad, we expect him quite soon to be back in the team.”
The Carrington academy graduate has bounced back from a disappointing 2021/22 campaign, to be one of the stars in Ten Hag’s side so far this season, hitting a brace against Arsenal in the Red Devils’ last league outing.
Is losing Rashford a big blow for United?
Last season, saw an injury-hit Rashford manage just four goals and two assists in 25 Premier League appearances, a tally which he has almost matched in the opening six games of the Premier League season, with three goals and two assists to his name thus far.
Back in 2020, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Rashford, dubbing him “absolutely incredible” as a result of his charity work, but the 24-year-old is starting to perform on the pitch again under his new manager.
When compared to United’s players to have featured in every game this season, Rashford ranks as the top performer in Ten Hag’s side, according to WhoScored, so it seems clear that he is getting back to his best.
To have him missing for a potentially tough game against Sheriff could be damaging for the Red Devils.
The Moldovan side are not to be underestimated as it was only last season when they beat eventual Champions League winners Real Madrid 2-1 in their own backyard, and United could be vulnerable after their disappointing setback against Sociedad last time out.
The Red Devils lacked intensity in attack as Cristiano Ronaldo started ahead of Rashford, with just three shots on target in the game, and that could be an issue again on Thursday as the England international won’t feature.
Hopefully, for Ten Hag, the 24-year-old will be fit enough to return after the international break, but there is little doubt that him not being available for the Europa League clash on Thursday is a huge blow to United’s chances of returning with three points.