Cole insists Rashford's fine form ISN'T linked to Ronaldo's departure

Andy Cole insists Marcus Rashford’s incredible form ISN’T linked to Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure… as the former Man United striker hails Erik ten Hag for having belief in the England star and ‘telling him how good he is’

  • Marcus Rashford has scored 25 goals for Manchester United so far this season
  • He burst into form following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Al-Nassr
  • Andy Cole believes Erik ten Hag and Rashford himself are responsible for form 

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has insisted Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure is not linked to Marcus Rashford’s electric form.

The 25-year-old has been rejuvenated under Erik ten Hag, taking his tally to 25 goals for the season after netting in the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle on Sunday.

Since Ronaldo’s explosive departure – which saw him leave the club by mutual consent and later join Al-Nassr – Rashford has scored an extraordinary 17 goals in 19 games, more than any other player in Europe’s big five leagues.

Many have suggested that Rashford’s fine form is down to the Portugal striker leaving, including Richard Keys who claimed Rashford was being ‘suffocated’ by ‘stroppy self-centred superstar’ Ronaldo.

But Cole – a member of United’s treble-winning squad of 1999 – has shut down these theories. 

Former Man United striker Andy Cole has rejected claims that Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit is responsible for Marcus Rashford’s fine form

Marcus Rashford has scored a staggering 17 goals in 19 games since former team-mate Ronaldo left

‘I’m an individual. I’m not going to get involved in the Ronaldo thing because he left. Ronaldo wasn’t there 18 months ago when Marcus Rashford was struggling,’ Cole told Stats Perform.

Speaking about what he believes Rashford’s form is down to, the United legend added: ‘The Ten Hag effect, I think. No doubt, the manager will be believing in him, telling him how good he is. But ultimately, as individuals, he could have taken his eye off the ball a little bit with what he was doing off the field. 

‘It could have been a little bit of that as well, but to see him in this really fit form now, the way he’s playing, I think it’s a testament to him. 

‘For me, personally, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else does with you. I’m looking at him now, he seems to be telling himself, ‘I’m at that level that I want to be at’. That’s why he’s playing so well.’ 

Despite Rashford excelling for United this season, Cole is concerned with the lack of depth in Ten Hag’s squad.

Cole fears that if Rashford were to get injured, United would struggle to find goals as Bruno Fernandes is a distance second in their top scorers list with seven goals. 

‘If you’re going to be challenging for major honours, you’ve got to have goals coming from all areas, and at this moment time Manchester United are relying on Marcus because he’s in that form,’ Cole added.

Rashford will be hoping to continue his rich vein of form in a busy month for Manchester United.

The Red Devils play West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday before facing Liverpool, Real Betis, Southampton and the Spanish side again.

The 25-year-old United forward took his tally for the season to 25 goals after netting in the Carabao Cup final

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