Five things spotted in Manchester United training as Marcus Rashford shows silky skills


Though most of the Manchester United squad are away on international duty, those who have remained are still being put through their peace in training.

United endured a disappointing week prior to the break as they were eliminated from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid and now face the very real possibility of failing to qualify for next year’s edition, with Arsenal looking more likely to finish in the top four.

A massive turnaround is needed starting on April 2 when United return to action against Leicester City and there’s plenty of preparation to do before then. United were in training again on Thursday, with the club releasing photos and video footage of the session.

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Below are five things MEN Sport spotted…

Rashford keeps his head up

It’s been a frustrating few months for Marcus Rashford as his form has plummeted, he’s rarely played as a result and that has culminated in losing his place in the England squad this week. While missing out on Gareth Southgate’s side will be disappointing, hopefully, the striker can see the positives.

He now has a full two weeks to train, relax, recover and hopefully build the foundations for a return to form. United have a massively important run in coming up with Champions League qualification at stake and if they are to turn it around then they need Rashford getting back to his best from him.

He’s certainly keeping his head up in the training with the looks of things and showed one flash of the ability he has. In a small-sided game, Rashford picked the ball up in his own half of the downsized pitch and then set off on a run. He dribbled his way past four opposition players with some silky skill before tucking the ball home. More of that, please.

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Rashford dribbles his way past three players

Ralf watches on

With most of his squad away on international duty, Ralf Rangnick may have been forgiven for giving the rest of his team some time off this week and enjoying a rest himself. However, all the available senior stars have been put through their peace this week under the watchful eye of the interim manager.

Rangnick has been running the rule over his players, with perhaps some spots in his starting XI up for grabs after recent performances, and plenty of them will be hoping to impress. He also gave a speech to his players during the session as he relayed instructions.

Youngsters still involved

As United’s numbers are greatly reduced with the majority of players off representing their countries, Rangnick has called upon several youngsters to make up the numbers this week. Shola Shoretire, Bjorn Hardley, D’Mani Mellor, Dermot Mee, Joe Hugill, Conor Stanley and Noam Emeran were all involved in the latest session as they hoped to impress the manager enough to earn a promotion to the first-team permanently.

Emeran looks bright

The one youngster who particularly stood out in the footage United released of the games was Frenchman Emeran. He arrived at United back in 2019 from Amiens and now at 19, he has started to rise through the ranks at the club, making nine appearances in the Under-23s this season with a goal and two assists.

The attacking midfielder will be hoping to follow his compatriot Hannibal into the first team and he certainly impressed when playing alongside the seniors. A highlight was when he picked up a loose ball, composed himself before pulling off a delightful piece of skill to ghost past his marker and score.

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Emeran was generally very tidy on the ball and even when he did lose it he quickly pressed to get it back again. Perhaps he is yet another prospect we will be seeing more of soon.

Woolston gets first taste of coaching

Paul Woolston with his fellow goalkeepers

Goalkeeper Paul Woolston was present at the session but sadly it wasn’t to take part in playing as the 23-year-old announced he has been forced to prematurely call time on his career at just 23. A serious hip injury has derailed the promising shot-stopper’s, who arrived at United from Newcastle in 2018, chances of making it at Old Trafford.

Despite a determination to return to fitness, which included two surgeries and a lengthy period of rehabilitation, Woolston had to emotionally retire earlier this week. He was present at the session, however, as he posed with his fellow goalkeepers and observed as he got his first taste of coaching. United have already set up a program to support Woolston with his transition to retirement – like helping him to get his coaching badges – and Thursday was yet another step on the road.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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