Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has controversially suggested that Marcus Rashford should ‘prioritise’ football following his incredible off-field work over the last 18 months.
Rashford took it upon himself to ensure that children from the poorest families still had access to food while schools were closed during the coronavirus pandemic and school holidays, lobbying the government and directly influencing policy.
The 23-year-old has also spearheaded a reading campaign for children who might not otherwise have access to books and has been recognised with an MBE and honorary doctorate.
Rashford is now ready to make his comeback to the pitch after recovering from shoulder surgery to fix a longstanding problem. He had not been fully fit for a long time beforehand, although it should be acknowledged that despite playing through discomfort and his off-field work, the United star still scored more than 20 goals in all competitions last season for the second year running.
"He is coming into the best age for a footballer and he's got a challenge on his hands here at Manchester United - and has a challenge on his hands to play for England,” Solskjaer said to the press ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Leicester.
But he also went on to add, “Marcus has done some remarkable and fantastic things. But now he maybe needs to prioritise his football.
“Marcus knows that we want a lot from him, but we are going to give him the time to get back to what he was and what he can be.”
Since making his debut for United and England in 2016 at the age of 18, Rashford has already played over 300 games for club and country by 23. He also already scored 100 career goals, including 43 for United in the last two seasons alone.