Man Utd provide Marcus Rashford fitness update after star was dropped v Chelsea

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford could miss the Red Devils’ Premier League clash with Bournemouth due to illness, the club have confirmed. Rashford, who has endured a difficult period at Old Trafford, might be unavailable to Erik ten Hag when United host the Cherries on Saturday afternoon.

The 26-year-old forward did not train with his United team-mates on Friday after falling ill. He has less than 24 hours to recover in time to be ready for selection against Bournemouth.

United face the south coast side at 3pm on Saturday having been buoyed by a midweek victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford. Rashford was dropped to the substitutes’ bench after a dismal performance in the 1-0 defeat by Newcastle last Sunday, although Ten Hag insisted the decision was made for squad rotation purposes.

Rashford was roundly criticised for his display against the Magpies and Ten Hag insisted he would speak with the England international about his poor form. The Dutchman subsequently named the usual regular starter among his substitutes to face Chelsea, but argued that it was not because of his player’s recent performances.

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Ten Hag was vindicated in his decision with his team going on to record an important triumph over Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Rashford appeared for the final six minutes to help see out the win, which was sealed thanks to Scott McTominay’s brace, and at times appeared to cut a glum figure.

The United academy graduate has endured a frustrating season. There was huge expectation on the shoulders of Rashford heading into this campaign after he hit 30 goals across all competitions last term, carrying the heavy scoring burden among the Red Devils squad.

He has scored just twice this season – first in August’s 3-1 defeat by Arsenal and second in the 3-0 win over Everton a fortnight ago. The latter strike was a penalty gifted to him by the usual spot-kick taker Bruno Fernandes, with the Portugal midfielder keen to lift Rashford’s “confidence”.

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But Rashford does not appear to have turned a corner after scoring his second goal of the campaign. He received criticism for a perceived lack of effort in the woeful defeat by Newcastle last weekend, which left Ten Hag fighting for his job after 10 losses already this season.

“Watching Marcus Rashford last night, that was an unacceptable performance for a few reasons,” Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said on Monday. “That lad didn’t play midweek in the Champions League, but I have been a local player and it’s not easy especially when the team is not doing well.

“Watching Rashford, he reminds me of Martial and that is the worst possible thing you can say about him. Foreign player comes in and doesn’t really care. Rashford is now looking like Martial. As a local player, your job is to drag others up. You do not stop running for that badge and your supporters as you are supposedly one of them.”

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