Marcus Rashford admits that he needed to “switch off” after struggling for form at Manchester United last season, but the 24-year-old forward has his “buzz” back under Erik ten Hag and is raring to go in 2022-23.
A home-grown star at Old Trafford endured a humbling campaign last time out, registering only five goals and making just 13 Premier League starts.
He also slipped out of the England squad, with the countdown on to a World Cup finals in Qatar, but a rare summer of no competitive action has left a proven performer feeling refreshed and ready to rediscover a spark.
Does Rashford have a role to play at Man Utd?
Rashford is in the process of trying to prove his worth to new Red Devils boss Ten Hag during pre-season training and is looking forward to playing a prominent role in another new era, telling United’s official website: “We have got that feeling of excitement and that buzz around the training ground again and so it is definitely positive going into pre-season.
“It is just about, one, getting the principles right of how Erik wants us to play and the details, and, two, enjoying it.
“In the first week of training we have done both and everyone is looking forward to going on the tour and putting what we have done in training into the first games.
“It is a fresh start for everyone and for me personally I have had quite a long break, a nice camp before coming back into training, and how we are starting off on the right foot.
“Like I said, everyone is looking forward to pre-season now and going out to try to put into the games what we have learned in training so far, and what we will continue to learn, not only in the pre-season but throughout the season as well.”
𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐮𝐬 𝐑𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐌𝐁𝐄 👏— GOAL (@goal) November 9, 2021
Rashford has been appointed an MBE for services to vulnerable children in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/tL1ixptwiw
Will Rashford recapture his best form for Man Utd?
Rashford broke the 20-goal barrier in successive campaigns before hitting a serious slump last season, with the challenge being to hit those heights again after spending plenty of time focusing on matters off the pitch.
He is now an MBE, but football remains his top priority and the hope is that hitting a reset button will allow him to bounce back from an uncharacteristic slump.
Rashford added on making a fresh start: “I have definitely not had that much rest before in a summer break, so it was a little bit strange at first and I had to adjust my program a little bit, make it a little bit longer, so I could come in with a positive look on everything, and like I say we are excited to go away [on tour] now. You feel every day now you are getting that one step sharper and one step fitter to being ready for the season.
“I don't think I have had a proper pre-season since 2019 so for me it is definitely a positive thing. I feel like I probably needed that time to switch off a little bit and me having that time enabled me to refocus a lot earlier than I expected to be honest. It [the break] was just a few days over four weeks and I always split it in half, so I had two weeks when I was just relaxing and a little over two weeks when I was training so it's been a good period for me.
“Like I say, I feel ready and focused so when that first game does come it's good to know you have done almost six weeks of training beforehand. It will definitely be a positive.”