Analysing Marcus Rashford’s goal involvements each season since his Man United debut

Marcus Rashford has been in career-best form this season with the Manchester United forward having reemerged as one of the most exciting attacking talents in Europe.

Rashford has produced some sensational performances for Erik ten Hag’s team during the current campaign, with his goals having fired the Red Devils into the top four and into contention for major trophies.

It’s been a welcome return to form for Rashford after a difficult spell and there are positive signs that the 25-year-old is beginning to fulfil the potential first shown when he burst into the team as a teenager.

We’ve decided to look at Rashford’s season-by-season development in terms of goal contributions.

2015/16 – 10 (8 goals, 2 assists)

Rashford announced his arrival as a Manchester United player during the 2015/16 season, as the academy graduate took his unexpected chance in the senior side.

The 18-year-old was handed his first-team debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League after Anthony Martial suffered an injury in the warm-up and seized his chance with a brilliant brace against the Danish outfit.

Rashford’s dream debut earned him a run in the side and he marked his first Premier League appearance with another brace as Arsenal were beaten at Old Trafford.

The teenager continued to impress and ended the campaign with eight goals in 18 appearances across all competitions, five of which came in the Premier League.

Unforgettable Debuts: A baby-faced Rashford announces himself to the world with Europa League brace

2016/17 – 15 goal involvements (11 goals, 4 assists)

Rashford remained a regular in the first team despite a change in manager at Old Trafford, as the forward made 53 appearances in all competitions during the 2016/17 season.

Jose Mourinho led the Red Devils to a League Cup and Europa League double during his first season in charge, with Rashford scoring a crucial semi-final winner against Celta Vigo during that latter European success.

He also provided the assist for Marouane Fellaini as United drew with the Spaniards in the return leg to reach the final.

2017/18 – 21 goal involvements (13 goal, eight assists)

The following campaign proved a season of progress for Rashford who improved on his numbers for both goals and assists.

United failed to win silverware during Mourinho’s second season as manager, but ended the Premier League campaign as runners-up to Manchester City – the club’s highest league finish since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

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Rashford struggled for a starting role across the second half of the campaign following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, but scored a memorable brace as arch-rivals Liverpool were beaten 2-1 at Old Trafford.

2018/19 – 21 goal involvements (13 goals, 8 assists)

Rashford continued to find himself in and out of the team under Jose Mourinho, before the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager reignited his fortunes. Mourinho was sacked after a difficult start to the season and Solskjaer placed immediate faith in Rashford.

After scoring one and creating another in Solskjaer’s first game in charge against Cardiff, Rashford scored six goals and laid on three assists in eight games as United enjoyed an upturn in results under the Norwegian.

His impressive performances saw Rashford named as the Premier League’s Player of the Month for January, as he became the youngest player to score in four consecutive top-flight games for United.

Rashford’s biggest moment of the season came with a stoppage-time penalty against Paris Saint-Germain, one which confirmed progress to the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals after a 3-1 win in Paris. It was the first penalty of Rashford’s senior career and the first time a team had overcome a 2-0 or greater home leg deficit in European Cup/Champions League history.

2019/20 – 34 goal involvements (22 goals, 12 assists)

Rashford’s game reached a new level during the 2019/20 season as he hit 20+ goals in all competitions for the first time.

An explosive start to the season saw Rashford score a brace against Chelsea on the opening weekend, before recording 14 league goals across the opening 22 fixtures of the Premier League season.

A back injury halted his campaign however, but season’s suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic allowed Rashford to return ahead of the restart. He ended the campaign with 17 league goals – the best return of his career to date – and was voted third in the FWA Footballer of the Year award, behind Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

2020/21 – 34 goal involvements (21 goals, 13 assists)

Rashford replicated his return from the previous season with 34 goal involvements during the 2020/21 campaign.

His campaign included a first-ever hat-trick for Manchester United, as he came off the bench to score a treble during the club’s 5-0 Champions League win over RB Leipzig at Old Trafford. It was just the second time a player had scored a hat-trick off the bench for the Red Devils, after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four times as a substitute against Nottingham Forest in 1999.

He scored six goals in just six appearances during the Champions League group stage, but United crashed out of the competition after a defeat to Leipzig in Germany.

Rashford reached 50 league goals for United during a draw with Leicester on Boxing Day, but a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the season began to impact his performances across the second half of the campaign.

2021/22 – 7 goal involvements (5 goals, 2 assists)

Rashford missed the start of the 2021/22 campaign after undergoing surgery following England’s Euro 2020 campaign.

He returned in October but struggled for form during a challenging season that saw Solskjaer sacked and Ralf Rangnick arrive as interim manager until the end of the season. United ended the season sixth in the Premier League and missed out on Champions League qualification.

Rashford’s seven-goal contributions was the lowest return of his career, while he scored just four times in the Premier League.

2022/23 – 36 goal involvements* (28 goals, 8 assists)

From his worst season, to his very best.

Free from fitness issues and with a full pre-season behind him under Erik ten Hag, Rashford has been reborn this season to emerge as one of the Premier League’s finest footballers.

The 25-year-old has scored 28 goals in all competitions, comfortably the highest total of his career to date, and has laid on a further eight assists. After an impressive World Cup campaign with England that saw Rashford score three goals in Qatar, he has been in sublime form since the season’s restart.

His performances have seen Rashford named as Premier League Player of the Month on three occasions – equalling the record in a single season held by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (2017/18) – and reach 15 goals in a Premier League season for just the second time.

The leading scorer in the Europa League so far this season, his upcoming absence with a groin issue will be a major blow to Erik ten Hag’s hopes of success domestically and in Europe. A huge 46% of Rashford’s 28 goals this season have been winners.

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