Paul Merson: Marcus Rashford should start on bench for Man United v Arsenal
Paul Merson says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should start Marcus Rashford on the bench for Man United v Arsenal
Paul Merson has urged Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to start Marcus Rashford on the bench for Sunday’s clash with Arsenal.
The England international proved himself as an impressive impact substitute on Wednesday night when he came off the bench to score a brilliant hat-trick in the 5-0 win over RB Leipzig at Old Trafford in the Champions League.
Rashford will likely be expecting to start for the Red Devils when Manchester United welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford this weekend.
However, former Arsenal star Merson believes that Rashford is in need of a rest and he can be at his most useful for Manchester United when he comes off the bench.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson said: “Marcus Rashford is the perfect supersub and should start on the bench for Manchester United this weekend.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should use him more often like that because the stats show that’s where he can sometimes be most dangerous.
“When he starts, he doesn’t really score bundles of goals and often finds it difficult. But he came on this week against Leipzig and scored a hat-trick in 16 minutes! If you look at when he scores his goals this season, they tell you a story.
“He scored as a sub against Luton in the 88th minute in the EFL Cup. He scored in the second half against Brighton.
“He scored in the last minute against Newcastle. He scored with three minutes to go against Paris St-Germain and all his goals against Leipzig were at the end of the game.
“His goals are coming against tired defenders. Maybe United should experiment with that.
“Arsenal is going to be a tight game. If it’s 0-0 after 60 minutes and Rashford comes on just when defenders are getting tired, he could have a field day.
“Don’t get me wrong. Marcus Rashford is too good to spend his whole career as a supersub. He’s an England international.
“But I think he needs a rest and playing a few games off the bench might actually do him some good in the long run.
“The rest of United’s bench is not changing a game for Solskjaer. But Rashford can. And there’s no better feeling as a manager than having a weapon like that to bring on.
“Rashford is a better player when the game opens up and there’s space to burst into. But United can’t open games up from the start because they’re not good enough defensively.
“You’ve got to have players who will tire out defenders so that when Rashford comes on those defenders will be on their knees. Anthony Martial can do that. So could Mason Greenwood.”
The 23-year-old England international has scored seven goals and has made two assists in all competitions for Manchester United so far this season.
The Red Devils will return to Champions League action on Wednesday night when they travel to face Istanbul Basaksehir looking to make it three straight wins in Europe’s elite club competition.
Manchester United will then take on Everton away from home in their next Premier League game on Saturday 7 November before the international break.