Anthony Martial & Marcus Rashford can solely provide Erik ten Hag short-term assurances

A Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial double act – with a late characteristic from Fred – noticed Manchester United breeze to their most complete Premier League victory beneath Erik ten Hag thus far.

Three objectives, a clear sheet, and a ball-dominant, complete efficiency in opposition to lesser opposition who left Old Trafford stuffed with concern and determined to not come again anytime quickly.

We’ve seen all of it earlier than, however one thing feels totally different this time. Are United truly ‘again’?

Watching Martial – decked out in his signature gloves and sharp haircut – and Rashford bundle them dwelling on the Theatre of Dreams in a free-flowing attacking efficiency suggests so. But whereas Erik ten Hag has been a revelation thus far at United, it is all too straightforward to get carried away.

The 3-0 scoreline truly papers over cracks. And the overarching numbers again that declare up. United may very well be doing extra in entrance of objective, and have to be doing extra down the road.

Granted, that takes time. Ten Hag remains to be in his first season on the membership, beneath an possession regime that has let United rot from the core for shut to twenty years at this level. The Dutchman is attempting to begin from scratch. Completely. And United’s considerably makeshift XI final evening ought to function a reminder of that.

But let’s take the black glove-tinted glasses off for a second, and get again to actuality. Martial’s first time strike in opposition to Forest to double United’s lead was his fifth from 9 video games this season. Marry two assists to that and it is a relatively spectacular return. The subject? Nine video games merely is not sufficient.

While scoring often had as soon as been a problem for Martial, it appears a brand new lease of life beneath Ten Hag has lastly solved that subject and given him the vein of consistency he so desperately wanted. But if you nonetheless must retailer him in bubble wrap earlier than, throughout and after video games, that is a giant subject.

Rashford has overcome a interval of accidents and subsequently plummeting type to get better a few of his finest stuff, which is scintillating. But regardless of what number of occasions he insists in interviews that he targets a prolific marketing campaign, we merely cannot make sure that it will occur.

Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

We’ve been right here earlier than with these two / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

10 objectives and 4 assists from 21 video games in all competitions leaves the England worldwide heading in the right direction to at the least match his most prolific season in entrance of objective for United, the place he bagged 22 occasions and assisted 12 in 41 video games through the COVID-19 affected 2019/20 marketing campaign – by the way additionally Martial’s most prolific season for the membership.

Simply put, although, if you’ve misplaced a ahead mid-season and the one two you have got left to depend on have managed only one 20+ objective marketing campaign every thus far of their careers, it is hardly a confidence increase.

Their type beneath Ten Hag and the dedication they’ve confirmed to creating certain they enhance beneath the brand new supervisor is admirable and will set an instance for the remainder of the squad. But leaning on two gamers who merely do not have the monitor report in entrance of objective is not adequate for a group who’re embroiled in a prime 4 battle that solely continues to change into extra aggressive, with goals of returning to the highest of the tree.

Like Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke did in United’s late Nineteen Nineties, Rashford and Martial need assistance. The distinction is Sir Alex Ferguson might throw in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham to combine issues up. Ten Hag? Well, past Rashford and Martial, it is both stick Harry Maguire up entrance, give an out-of-favour Anthony Elanga one other likelihood, or depend on a teen from the youth ranks.

Option C sounds nice. But with the stakes so excessive, hanging somebody like Charlie McNeill out to dry on soccer’s greatest stage does not sound smart. Especially not with a switch window across the nook and loads of prime European strikers angling for a transfer.

That means the Glazers – who’re seemingly determined to lastly promote the membership – reaching their fingers into their pockets one final time. But presenting potential new house owners with a shiny new, long-term signing may truly assist that alongside.

For the primary time in years, Ten Hag has managed to showcase Rashford and Martial’s skills considerably constantly. And whereas they may kick on and change into the 2 males he depends on at United, there may be far an excessive amount of at stake for him to gamble on that simply but.

Competition for locations breeds high quality. Consider that and the frankly absurd schedule United have from now till May, and the prospect of leaning on simply Martial and Rashford is solely unfair for all concerned. Another striker coming in would alleviate the burden, increase the numbers, give the Red Devils one other outlet and additional enhance the squad’s high quality in depth.

The pair completely deserve the prospect to hold the membership ahead. But United can take no possibilities. The margins are too wonderful for that.

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