Marcus Rashford’s potential has never been doubted but, during the 2021/22 season, it was quite clear something wasn’t quite right.
After two impressive seasons on the trot, the Manchester United forward was a deflated, lifeless, tepid version of his former self as he registered just four Premier League goals. That all seems like a distant memory now, however.
The Englishman has come back fighting and is in red-hot form this term, having far surpassed the ten-goal mark already. He hasn’t been able to stop scoring since the conclusion of the World Cup, either, striking eight times in the Red Devils’ first eight outings back from Qatar.
And it seems as though United’s dangerman has a new celebration to show for his newfound spark.
The fresh celebration seems to have originated from Rashford’s final goal of 2022, when he netted a late winner in United’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Wolves on New Year’s Eve.
And upon seeing the ball rocket into the back of the net nowadays, it seems as though Rashford’s first instinct is to now wheel away before zapping the emotion from his body and standing still with his finger pointed to his temple.
Well, it’s been suggested that the celebration could be a hint to his previous mental health struggles.
Earlier this campaign, the 25-year-old spoke openly about his slump in form during the 2021/22 campaign and how he’d been suffering off the pitch.
“It’s a completely different energy around the club and the training ground,” Rashford said after scoring the only goal when United beat West Ham 1-0 back in October. “That puts me in a better headspace and I just feel really motivated now. That’s the area I was struggling in.
“I was struggling at times with more mental things. It wasn’t really my own performance but other things off the pitch. That’s the biggest difference from last season.
“I get that it’s your job to speak about what happens on the pitch but for the players, we have to get into the right headspace for every game. Too often last season, I wasn’t in the right headspace for games. I wasn’t surprised by some of the stuff that was happening.”
Erik ten Hag has visibly altered things massively at Old Trafford since his arrival, and Rashford’s upturn in happiness and performance is significant evidence.
So, it’s been proposed that the forward’s new celebration could be an indication of his battle with those feelings last term and the fact that he has now found a better headspace.
Whatever it means, it’s great to see Rashford smiling and firing on all cylinders again; long may the celebration continue!