How much have Manchester United missed Marcus Rashford this season?
The 23-year-old, who has scored 88 goals in 271 appearances for the Red Devils, is yet to feature for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this term as he recovers from a shoulder operation.
Rashford underwent shoulder surgery in the summer after England were beaten by Italy in the Euro 2020 final and has remained sidelined since.
However, the forward is expected to feature for United in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Wednesday following his return to training.
"Marcus trained fully for the first time today with contact," Solskjaer told reporters at a press conference last Friday, per the Manchester Evening News.
"There were a few tackles flying in on him and he seemed okay, which was nice to see.”
Solskjaer added: “Marcus is fit, he's worked really hard, but he’s not had any contact [until now]. If his shoulder can take the contact now, he should be ready after the internationals.”
Providing Rashford emerges from this week’s friendly unscathed, there’s every chance that he will be part of United’s squad for the trip to Leicester City on October 16.
With summer signing Jadon Sancho still finding his feet at Old Trafford, some United fans are excited by the prospect of Rashford’s return to first-team football.
This is a player who has scored over 20 goals in all competitions in the previous two seasons and gives opposition defenders all kinds of problems with his pace and power.
When Rashford silenced Man Utd fan with stunning free-kick
Ahead of Rashford’s return to action, let’s cast our minds back to arguably the best goal of his career to date - and certainly one of the greatest free-kicks we’ve seen in recent years.
Following a difficult start to the 2019-20 season, Rashford was under pressure to deliver a performance when Man Utd faced Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup.
But boy did he deliver - and in some style, too.
The England international fired Solskjaer’s side through to the quarter-finals with a truly magnificent 35-yard knuckleball free-kick.
In one of several videos recorded from the stands, one United fan can be heard saying: “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” as Rashford begins his run-up.
Moments later, the ball flew past goalkeeper Willy Caballero and into the back of the Chelsea net.
Watch it here:
Now that’s how you silence your doubters.
Former United captain Gary Neville also doubted Rashford’s ability to score from that distance.
“When I see free-kicks from that distance, I’m a glass-half-full person,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “I think to myself ‘just play it wide and cross it - don’t shoot from there!’ But what a goal that is!
“You mention Cristiano Ronaldo, he scored a few of those. That’s one of the best I’ve seen!”
Even Rashford’s teammates were stunned. Here’s how Brandon Williams reacted when the ball found the top corner:
United fans will be desperately hoping their talented No. 10 will provide more magical moments over the coming weeks and months following his injury lay-off.
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