The 25-year-old has effectively turned into the Red Devils’ talisman having scored 25 goals this season, with 8 of those coming in his last 10 appearances.
He was on the scoresheet once again, as United ended their anxious wait for silverware and lifted the Carabao Cup against Newcastle.
After enduring a lacklustre 18 months by his standards, Rashford’s jolt back into form is quite remarkable, and a portion of the credit goes to his gaffer Erik Ten Hag.
The Dutchman has managed to transform the club’s fortunes since being appointed, he has also had a similar effect on England International.
Ten Hag gave Rashford his vote of confidence almost immediately, as evidenced by the regular playing time he received despite his poor form during the early parts of the season.
By playing to his strengths, the Dutchman has reinvigorated a goal-scoring machine, and he will certainly play a key role in the forward’s development moving forward.
But as far as his breakthrough years go, the credit for his development goes to former manager Louis Van Gaal, an individual Rashford holds great respect for.
The forward was a fresh-faced youngster when he received a first-team call-up from LVG, before eventually making his debut under the legendary Dutch manager.
Van Gaal placed quite a bit of faith in 18-year-old Rashford’s abilities and he also injected plenty of discipline into the forward.
One of his disciplinary methods, as revealed by Rashford himself, involved a strict deadline centred around his college education.
Like every teenager, the forward was working towards completing his higher education, which happened to overlap with his breakthrough into United’s senior team.
Naturally, he was forced to juggle between the two, and Van Gaal had no plans of making the grind easier.
He imposed a strict deadline, ordering Rashford to arrive at a certain time for training sessions, but without compromising his college work, the Dutchman made studying a requirement.
Rashford shared the anecdote during a recent Sky Sports interview –
I used to get fined every Thursday, and he (Van Gaal) used to tell me I have to finish my college work and get to training, it was non-negotiable. I had 12 minutes to get to training from college.
He continued –
He probably didn’t know the two things (college and football) contradicted until he fined me the 4th time.
Based on his comments, Van Gaal’s deadline might’ve been unintentional after all. Or at least it was in the beginning, we reckon he simply went along with it even after realizing, it sounds pretty LVG.