UEFA Europa League 2019-20: Now or never for Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial

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The two youngsters have lived on the hype of their 'potential' for far too long and need to start delivering the goods...

As Manchester United prepare for yet another campaign in the UEFA Europa League, the spotlight will firmly be on how their young foward line performs.

It has been a busy summer transfer window at Old Trafford with plenty of high-earners like Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez being moved on either a permanent transfer or on loan.

However, the extensive clear-out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also left United short of quality and depth up front with plenty of responsibility placed on the young shoulders of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

There is no denying that the duo are highly talented with both of them having breakthrough debut campaigns for the club in the 2015-16 season under Louis Van Gaal. However, things haven’t gone according to plan since that electric start for both players with long periods of inconsistencies plaguing their progression in a Manchester United shirt.

For long, the two youngsters have escaped criticism for their average returns on the pitch with both managers and fans alike willing to give them a wider berth due to the ‘potential’ of their talent. There has always been the feeling that a breakout season is just around the corner for Rashford and Martial but that has failed to happen so far.

At the age of 21 and 23 respectively, it is time for Rashford and Martial to start delivering the goods on a more consistent basis and justify the huge faith bestowed on them by United. They aggregated just 25 goals between them across all competitions last season and the fact that they were both outscored by Paul Pogba in midfield is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

If United are to make a big leap under Solskjaer this season, they need their two star attacking men to score at least 20 goals apiece. It is now a ‘do or die’ situation for the two mercurial forwards at Manchester United and it will be difficult to justify their place in their squad purely based on potential if they are unable to crack the code this time.

Now, Martial is not fit enough to start United's Europa opener against Astana. However, the onus will be on Rashford to take up the leader's mantle and deliver his team a good performance.

But when you see the season as a whole, both Martial and Rashford might just need to make sure they makes this season a memorable one.

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