Connect with us

Football

Marcus Rashford is giving Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho a problem at Man United

Published

on

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options in the Manchester United attack this season are staggering, but sometimes it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Finding a role for all of his star-studded attackers is impossible and so far the rotation hasn’t always worked for Solskjaer and United.

With the Norwegian sticking with the 4-2-3-1 for the win against Atalanta on Wednesday night, it looks like it will remain a four-pronged attack for now and that means Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo occupying the central areas for the biggest games.

But United have incredible options to fill positions out wide and perhaps nowhere more so than on the left wing. There have been already been four different starters on the left this season, in Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, while Jesse Lingard’s super-sub heroics have also come from that position.

While Sancho can compete with Mason Greenwood on the right, there’s still a real competition for places on the left, but it’s a debate that has edged closer to being settled this week.

See also  Berbatov agrees with Ferdinand over Solskjaer’s Man United and where the “truth” lies

Rashford’s return to action after shoulder surgery has been most welcome and as many suspected he would he has hit the ground running. He took his goal off the bench against Leicester superbly and was a constant menace to Atalanta on Wednesday night.

Again his finish to get United back in the game was a cool one but he should have had more to show for his work on the night, missing at least a couple of very presentable chances.

But crucially the 23-year-old was getting in the right positions and never let his head drop when chances came and went. His movement and runs in behind caused Gian Piero Gasperini’s side problems all night and they were probably delighted to see him withdrawn with a quarter of the game to go.

Solskjaer put that decision down to a dead leg and he hopes that Rashford will be fit to face Liverpool this weekend. He has five goals in 11 appearances against the Merseysiders, confirming his reputation as a big-game player.

See also  Two Man United stars blasted by Gary Neville after Newcastle United draw

Rashford’s form did nosedive last season, but he was playing through ankle and shoulder injuries and there was always a hope that a significant break would do him some good. He’s certainly hit the ground running on his return to action and he’s now just 10 goals away from a century for United, a tally he will almost certainly reach this season.

The performances against Leicester and Atalanta should have secured him an extended run in the team as well. Given his record against Liverpool he should certainly start against Jurgen Klopp’s side on Sunday and at the moment he looks like United’s most dangerous left-sided forward.

Of the competitors, Martial is out injured and although he scored against Everton it still feels like he has plenty to prove. The big losers might be Pogba and Sancho.

See also  Defender star 'looking for house in Manchester' amid Man Utd transfer interest

Pogba began the season on the left, from where his form was exceptional. But those performances that saw him register seven assists in just four games have slipped recently and he has started two of United’s last three games as a sub. His chances of starting in midfield were also hit by his performance against Leicester at the weekend.

Sancho can still compete with Greenwood on the right but it’s clear his United career is yet to hit top gear. That might come when he gets a run of games on the right-wing, but for now he looks to have a job on his hands to start ahead of Rashford on the left.

Pogba might have been a significant attacking weapon on the left at the start of the season, but it does feel like United have better balance with Rashford on the flank and for now he should be starting in that role most weeks.

Football

Barcelona youngster in line to bench Jordi Alba for Real Sociedad clash – report

Published

on

As Barcelona drew 0-0 against Rayo Vallecano for the season opener, Jordi Alba was among the five to be substituted off to make way for offensive depth. The Spaniard is usually among the brightest offensive outlets in the team, but failed to make an impact last week.

Alba also looked out of his depth during pre-season, and it was reported that people within Barcelona were surprised that he started over Alejandro Balde.

See also  Defender star 'looking for house in Manchester' amid Man Utd transfer interest

The 18-year-old was impressive during the run-up to the league opener, and was expected to take Alba’s place in the lineup.

While that did not happen vs Rayo, Javi Miguel reports that he is in line to start against Real Sociedad as the left-back. Xavi has informed Balde about his decision, and has told him to train with high intensity leading up to the game.

See also  David de Gea slamming Man United teammate 'highlights huge problem at Old Trafford'

Balde has been linked with an exit from Barcelona, especially given Marcos Alonso’s imminent arrival. However, an impressive performance at Anoeta could open the doors for his continuity.

The Chelsea defender has reportedly completed his move to Barcelona, subject to registrations and signatures. The club plan to announce it in the coming days if they are able to register Jules Kounde in time for the game.

Balde played in every single one of Barça’s pre-season fixtures, even registering an assist — to Raphinha —, against Inter Miami.

See also  Defender ready to agree Man Utd move if they double offer as the Reds ready to offer a new three-year deal to Star

Barcelona fans will hope the gamble pays dues, especially because it will likely not go down well with Alba, who is one of the team captains

Continue Reading

Football

Barcelona yet to receive any offers for exit-bound right back, price tag sits at €20m

Published

on

Barcelona are said to be pushing Sergino Dest towards an exit, but a recent report from journalist Adria Albets has confirmed that the player does not have any offer at the moment.

Regardless of what has been said in the past, neither have Manchester United tabled any formal offer for the right-back, nor have they made contacts with the 21-year-old’s representative.

For the moment, Barcelona are clear pretty clear about offloading Dest but in order to fulfil the operation, they are demanding in excess of €20 million.

See also  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent warning after Owen Hargreaves' 'fuming' Marcus Rashford claim

For that particular reason, his agents are finding it hard to find a suitor as no club is willing to match the valuation for a player who is already fallen down the pecking order.

Xavi has so far preferred to use make-shift centre-back, Ronald Araujo, as a full-back. And while the Uruguayan has done well at times, it’s pretty clear that the team is looking to bring in a full-time right-back this summer.

For that, several players such as Hector Bellerin, Juan Foyth, Diogo Dalot, Thomas Meunier and Jeremie Frimpong have been considered, but there remain several complications in carrying out the operation

See also  David de Gea slamming Man United teammate 'highlights huge problem at Old Trafford'

To begin with, Villarreal’s valuation of €42 million for Juan Foyth is proving to be a hindrance.

Barcelona are finding themselves in this situation mostly because their attempt to sign a certain Cesar Azpilicueta failed.

Meanwhile, as far as Dest is concerned, he knows in order to get regular minutes, he needs to move away from Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s asking price of €20 million is putting a stop to his desire.

See also  Defender star 'looking for house in Manchester' amid Man Utd transfer interest

Manchester United were thought to be weighing up a fresh move worth €20 million for the defender, but the Premier League side is yet to make any formal move. Hence, the Dutch-born American defender continues to train within the Barcelona ranks for the time being.

Continue Reading

Football

Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

Published

on

Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

Chelsea would reportedly prefer to sell Christian Pulisic rather than loan him out this summer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are interested in signing the 23-year-old Blues attacker on loan

is understood that Chelsea would rather offload the American on a permanent basis, though.

The report says they’ll listen to offers for Pulisic during the next couple of weeks, but want to recuperate the full £58million they paid for him a few years ago.

See also  Defender ready to agree Man Utd move if they double offer as the Reds ready to offer a new three-year deal to Star

With Chelsea demanding nearly £60million for the forward, will any club step forward with a bid?

Chelsea prefer to sell Pulisic

It makes little sense doing Man United a favour by sending them Pulisic on loan, so you can fully understand why a permanent transfer would make much more sense.

Described as a “huge talent” earlier this year by Gary Neville, Pulisic is a player that frustrates supporters at Stamford Bridge.

See also  Two Man United stars blasted by Gary Neville after Newcastle United draw

The winger can produce moments of brilliance in the final third, but there’s no major consistency in his game.

He finished last season with eight goals and five assists in 38 matches across all competitions, which wasn’t a bad return considering he missed a couple of months with an ankle problem

However, the United States international can’t seem to become a real favourite under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

See also  Man United's big Mauricio Pochettino boost is bad news for three players

His 2019/20 campaign is proof of what a talented player he can be.

The forward had 21 direct goal contributions in 34 Blues appearances, but it was a familiar case of injuries interrupting him whenever he builds up some momentum.

It would be quite a surprise if a clubs willing to fork out a near-£60million sum for him.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

Continue Reading

Trending