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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Erik ten Hag urges Rashford to help Manchester United be best in the world

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Erik ten Hag has told Marcus Rashford to commit his long-term future to Manchester United because the manager is intent on transforming the team into the best in the world.

Rashford is enjoying the finest form of his career, scoring nine goals in his past nine games. The 25-year-old’s contract expires in summer 2024 and a bullish Ten Hag is certain the forward will thrive even more if a new deal is agreed.

“This is the best place to be because we want to construct the best team – first in England, then Europe, then the world,” the Dutchman said. “It is confidential, talks between clubs and players, [but] he understands Manchester United is his club and also in this environment, this team, he is playing his best football. He is improving, he is giving 100%.

“He can bring his qualities and this team can help him be in the right position to score goals. The team is constructed so that his qualities come to the fore. He knows he is important for us and if we want to succeed we need him.”

Ten Hag also backed Antony, whose recent form has been scrutinised. “He is not losing games. He is playing and the team is winning and that already gives a message how well he is performing,” he said. “He can do better. I see space for improvement and we want him to be more direct.”

Antony started at Arsenal on Sunday but United lost and on Tuesday the winger tweeted a message that suggested the need to improve. “Seeking to evolve to give my best to the team,” the Brazilian said.

Anthony Martial remains injured for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday. The Frenchman’s season has been disrupted by physical problems. Ten Hag said: “He has to be more available [but] he can’t do anything about it.”

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