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Manchester United

'Lean, fighting machine' Rashford is 'peaking' for Man Utd after taking on Ronaldo responsibility - Keane

10:51 GMT+3 26/01/2023
Marcus Rashford Roy Keane Man Utd 2022-23
Manchester United legend Roy Keane has claimed that in-form forward Marcus Rashford is hitting his peak after Cristiano Ronaldo's exit.
  • Rashford has 10 goals in 10 games
  • Keane claims he's hitting peak
  • Ready for "responsibility" after Ronaldo exit

WHAT HAPPENED? The 25-year-old was on target once again as United cruised past Nottingham Forest 3-0 in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday, all but securing their place in the final. Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Keane underlined the player's physical and mental strength at the moment, as he relishes the opportunity to fill the boots of the recently departed Cristiano Ronaldo.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We were pitchside when the players came out and he looked lean. You wouldn't want to be up against him - all the best. He looks like a lean, fighting machine," said the former United captain. "Sometimes it's about confidence - there is where he's peaking now. United have had some great strikers over the years, and I think they need someone like that. Marcus has to say he wants that responsibility to be the main man. It looks like he's now enjoying that responsibility, which is great to see.

"When a player leaves the club the responsibility goes onto another player. He's 25, not a child, sometimes when the timing is right you can be ready for that. He looks in a great place mentally, too, which is huge. He said he reckons he took too much on away from football - and being a top footballer is hard enough. So putting the other stuff on the back burner and focusing on being a top player for Manchester United has seen him get his priorities right."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rashford's strike at the City Ground - a mazy run starting from the half-way line - was the 25-year-old's 10th goal in ten games since returning from England duty in December, in which time he has also picked up two assists. His performances have helped cement United's place in the Champions League spots, while they remain the only English side in all three domestic competitions and now have one foot in the League Cup final on February 26.

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WHAT NEXT FOR RASHFORD? Ahead of more League Cup action, the England international will feature for United in a different cup competition on Saturday, as Erik ten Hag's side host Reading in the FA Cup.