Jesse Lingard: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Advice Helped Marcus Rashford's Finishing

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard of Manchester United warm up ahead of the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on January 13, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Jesse Lingard has said his Manchester United team-mate Marcus Rashford is benefitting from spending time on the training pitch with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

Rashford was on target on Sunday at Wembley as the Red Devils earned an impressive 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. Since the arrival of Solskjaer at the club, a former forward himself, the England international striker has been rejuvenated.

Lingard said after the win over Spurs that the duo's work in the buildup to matches is starting to come to fruition at weekends, per Mark Ogden of ESPN FC.

"Throughout the training sessions in Dubai he's been practicing his finishing with the manager," he said. "It's prepared him for big games and moments like that."

During United's warm weather training camp, Rashford posted the following snap of Solskjaer talking to the players, making reference to the iconic goal the Norwegian scored to see the Red Devils win the 1998-98 UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich:

Earlier on in the campaign, there were some question marks over Rashford and whether or not he was good enough to be leading the line for a team of United's stature. In recent weeks something does appear to have changed within him to eradicate those worries.

While there is arguably still work for him to do in regards to his holdup play when leading the line, in all other aspects of his game there have been strides made.

Rashford has been more physical, more industrious and cannier in his movement in the final third. When those tweaks are factored in with his brilliant skill and searing speed, he suddenly looks like a difficult man to handle for defenders.

His finishing has improved too and he's currently enjoying one of his best runs in front of goal in the Premier League:

Solskjaer can definitely take credit for this ascension, with the team as a whole thriving since he was appointed. The ex-United forward has now won all six of his games in charge, with the players seemingly free of the shackles that were placed upon them by Solskjaer's predecessor.

Per Charlie Eccleshare of the Daily Telegraph, Mourinho also said finishing ability was down to "natural qualities." By contrast, the current boss said his prowess in front of goal wasn't genetic—"I studied finishing, I studied goals, I studied movement," he said.

It would appear at the moment the latter's approach is serving Rashford better than the former's:

At the start of the season, Rashford appeared a little confused about his identity as a footballer and unsure in front of goal. Now the England star looks ready to kick on and take the next step as a striker.

Solskjaer has been key to that and while there may be technical aspects of Rashford's game the pair have worked on, the forward appears emboldened by virtue of a coach investing time and belief in him.

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