The Debate: Why Rashford deserved new contract

Saturday 22 July 2023 11:26

"He fully deserves that contract."

That was the response from United legend Denis Irwin on the latest episode of The Debate, when discussing Marcus Rashford's new five-year deal at his boyhood club.

Marcus put pen to paper on a new contract with United earlier this week, after enjoying the most prolific season of his career in 2022/23. The England international scored 30 goals in all competitions, the first Red to do so since Robin van Persie in 2012/13.

On the ground in New Jersey ahead of our first Tour 2023 outing on Saturday, Irwin, along with fellow ex-Reds Andy Cole, Bryan Robson and Danny Webber, joined presenter Sam Homewood and local supporter John Shin to discuss a host of topics.

Rashford's influence was on the agenda.

The Debate: What can we expect from Tour 2023? Video

The Debate: What can we expect from Tour 2023?

🎬💬 The Debate | We've got big names tackling even bigger topics, including transfers, the captaincy and Roy Keane...

"It's incredibly important [his goalscoring]," said Denis. "He won the Fans' Player of the Year last year and the amount of goals he contributed, when you think about it, 30 goals [is great].

"We were the lowest scoring in the top six and when you see the contribution from him, we needed [it] by the way.

"And that's why we need a centre-forward to go along with Marcus and get that kind of goal tally as well, that will push us up the ladder.

"He's been incredible. The way he's carried himself in previous years but last year he got his head down.

"What I love about this manager [Erik ten Hag] is yes, we have had some great signings, but you look at Luke [Shaw's] improvement and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, I think everyone would accept that he's been fantastic [in the] second half of last season. And what he's done with Marcus as well," Irwin added.

"He fully deserves that contract. He's a Manchester lad, he knows what Manchester United is all about. He's been at the club for a long time now and he can become one of the senior players now and push on, and coach lads. It'll [give] more responsibility [to] him as well."

Cole agreed with the improvement of Rashford last season, explaining that he saw a raw energy about our no.10's play, comparable to when he first broke into the senior side seven years ago.

Rashford signs new contract


Marcus says he "couldn't be more excited for the future" after extending his stay with United.

"Last season, I think he went back to basics [like] when he first got in the team," Cole said.

"You look at last season [compared] to when he first got into the team, there were a lot of similarities."

Next best on United's scoring chart from last season after Rashford's 30 was Bruno Fernandes's 14, with our newly appointed captain having the second-highest tally in the squad.

Robson says that such a gap needs to be closed, and more Reds need to hit double figures if Erik ten Hag's side are to achieve further success in 2023/24.

Rashford 2028: New deal, same aims Video

Rashford 2028: New deal, same aims

🎬 Enjoy all 11 minutes of a candid conversation between Marcus Rashford & Wes Brown, in the Old Trafford stands...

"Man City and Liverpool, when they've done really well and won competitions, they've had the centre-forward but what they do have is the wide players that are coming in with 20, 25 goals," he explained.

"So what we've got are Sancho, Antony, those kind of people coming in [who need to get] at least 15 or 20 a season. We have Garnacho.

"Can they get between 15 and 20 goals? Because if they're doing that, then you're sharing the workload and that's what brings success."

Rashford could make his first appearance of United's pre-season when the Reds face Arsenal in our Tour 2023 opener later, live on MUTV (kick-off 22:00 BST).