Rashford's goal and assist record make him one of Europe's best

He’s a player who receives over the top abuse from some of Manchester United’s online support base. Yet the stats show that Marcus Rashford is having a fine season after being relied upon to lead the line for the Reds at the age of 21.

Rashford scored 50th goal for United on Sunday

Injury to Anthony Martial, which the Frenchman has just returned from, left Rashford as United’s main attacking outlet. It also means Rashford is one of the more senior and experienced players in the starting line-up.

Criticism has been frequent and harsh, sometimes vitriolic. Rashford has ploughed on, though. He’s played through minor injuries, started in almost every game and the stats show that he deserves a lot more respect.

Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Rashford has better stats than Europe’s best

The Englishman scored his 50th goal for his boyhood club on Sunday afternoon at Norwich City. He also set another up. It was his eighth goal or assist of the Premier League season. That’s more than:

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Aubameyang (7)
Griezmann (7)
Benzema (7)
Mbappé (7)
Kane (7)
Werner (6)
Depay (6)
Firmino (6)
Mané (6)
Ronaldo (5)
Suárez (5)

That’s not to say that Rashford is better than all of these players. But it gives context to the 21-year-old’s achievements. He’s scoring and providing goals at the rate of an elite European striker in a side where service is undeniably woeful.

It also doesn’t mean that Rashford’s best position is up front as a central striker, despite the goals. Now that Anthony Martial is back, as against Norwich, Rashford must play out on the left where he can combine his goalscoring and creating abilities. It was a goal and an assist against Norwich. That’s what will be expected of him on that flank. He’s got serious quality as a winger but lacks in a number of areas as a striker.

Rashford reached 50th goal ahead of Ronaldo

Still, though, this young local boy who has played in the worst United sides of the last three decades has 50 goals. And he’s reached it quicker than Cristiano Ronaldo, in fewer games.

Ronaldo played alongside Rooney, van Nistelrooy, Scholes and the rest. When he scored his 50th goal, it was the day before his United side were crowned champions of England. Rashford scored his to take United to seventh and out of the bottom half of the table.

It doesn’t mean Rashford is better than Ronaldo, of course not. But the next time one of United’s own misses a chance, it’s worth remembering that he’s actually doing quite well. He is a top talent and one worth keeping.

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Life-long Manchester United fan with a strong interest in the club's academy. Host of the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. First game at Old Trafford was the 7-1 rout of AS Roma in 2007.