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Marcus Rashford eyes 40 goals this season and Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United record

Marcus Rashford eyes 40 goals this season and Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United record

Marcus Rashford eyes Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United record

LONDON – Marcus Rashford on Thursday predicted he could hit 40 goals this season, buoyed by hearing that club legend Wayne Rooney is backing him to break his Manchester United scoring record.

Rooney tops the list of all-time scorers at Old Trafford with 253 but, having recently signed a new five-year contract, Rashford, who is only 25, looks in a good position to one day overhaul that tally.

The 30 goals he scored last season, boosting his tally to 123, helped the Red Devils finish third in the English Premier League and also win the League Cup.

“You never know what’s going to happen, but I’m all about scoring goals and trying to make assists. There’s definitely a chance that it can happen,” said Rashford, when asked about his ambitions to break Rooney’s United record.

“I’ve actually spoken to Wayne about it – he wants me to do it. He said it would be good for me to do it as I’ve grown up at the club. Hopefully, I get the opportunity to try and make it happen.”

In an interview with former United defender Gary Neville on his Overlap broadcast, Rashford – United’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year following a stellar campaign – also said he believes he could hit 40 goals if he can stay fit in the forthcoming season.

“Before last season, I always said let’s get to 20 – for a winger a good benchmark. But this season, I’ve hit 30. So we have to try and push it now and go above and beyond,” he added.

“Towards the end of the season, I was struggling with a few injuries, and I probably wasn’t quite at it – that’s when the goals started to dry up a little bit.

“If I can keep that side of it under control, I feel like I can go on and get 35 or 40.”

The forward has lofty ambitions at the club, but it was not too long ago that he considered leaving but then decided to remain at Old Trafford after being allowed to play with more freedom under new manager Erik ten Hag.

Asked if he had thought about moving away from United before the previous season when he scored only five goals, the United academy product said: “Before the manager came maybe a little bit.”

“But it’s football, it happens. Everything is going to happen for a reason and he came to the club at the right time for me, the timing worked out,” he added, before explaining what had changed in ten Hag’s first season in charge.

“Freedom – we were just a little bit rigid in the past. Sometimes you’re not enjoying your football and that was the case with me. I wasn’t enjoying my football as much as I should be, as much I was used to enjoying it.

“Because of that, it influenced my performance and, ultimately, that’s how I am as a person. If I’m not happy, then it’s difficult for me to play my best football.”

United, who are set to announce striker Rasmus Hojlund’s signing during the weekend to add to their attacking force, kick off their Premier League campaign on Aug 14 at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers. AFP, REUTERS

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