13 Man Utd stars who went off the boil as Rashford’s struggles raise concerns

Manchester United's drab FA Cup showing against Aston Villa will be of huge concern to Ralf Rangnick with star man Marcus Rashford looking a glimpse of his former self.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a stellar career at Old Trafford so far and has rightly received plaudits for his off the field charity work in the battle against racism, child hunger and homelessness.

But the recently knighted forward was on the end of some harsh criticism on Monday evening with Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer slamming him for his poor body language and lack of impetus going forward.

"I just think everything looks a huge effort for him at this moment in time there’s no spark there, he looks very flat," Shearer told BBC Sport.

Now, Daily Star Sport understands Man Utd chiefs have raised their concerns about his off-field activities following another dip in form.

Since Rangnick's appointment, Rashford has missed just one Premier League match – sitting on the bench as Man Utd rode out 3-1 winners at home to Burnley.

But the England international has clearly not found favour with Rangnick's 4-2-2-2 formation, recording just one assist under his new interim manager.

With Rashford battling to save his Man Utd career, Daily Star Sport highlights some Old Trafford stars that failed to bounce back from their dip in form…

Radamel Falcao

Signed on loan from Monaco by Louis van Gaal for the 2014/15 season, Radamel Falcao was deemed to be one of the transfers of the summer.

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And before he'd even kicked a ball, Man Utd fans were hoping they would exercise the £43.5m option for a permanent deal at the end season.

In his first seven starts, a return of three goals and three assists seemed impressive for a player still finding their feet in England but the goals soon dried up at the turn of the year.

Falcao was left out of the squad in favour of 19-year-old James Wilson against Southampton and then the Colombian failed to register a shot against League OnePreston.

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Ending the season with just four goals in 29 appearances Falcao is recognised as one of United's worst ever signings and needless to say van Gaal opted against signing him permanently.

Now playing for Rayo Vallecano aged 35, Colombia's all-time top scorer netted the only goal in a 1-0 win against Barcelona in October but strangely dons the no.3 jersey for the La Liga side.

Juan Sebastian Veron

Varon's eye-popping £28.1m move from Lazio to Man United in 2001 was the most expensive transfer in English football at the time.

The Argentine started brightly, scoring three goals in his opening seven matches and winning the Premier League Player of the Month for September.

But performances soon dwindled as Veron struggled to adapt to the ferociousness of the English game, wanting too much time on the ball.

Flogged to Chelsea just two seasons later for £15m, Veron featured only seven times at Stamford Bridge before heading out on loan to Inter Milan.

Angel Di Maria

United fans were highly expectant of Di Maria when he made the £60m move from the Santiago Bernabeu to Old Tafford, especially after inheriting the prestigious no.7 shirt.

Three goals and six assists in his opening 10 appearances was indicative of a new cult hero forming but like his compatriot before him, the Argentine's United career would head in the same downward trajectory.

Di Maria hit just one more goal for the rest of the season, scoring a late second in United's 2-0 win at Yeovil.

The La Liga winner was then sent off for two yellow cards in as many minutes against Arsenal, as the Red Devils crashed out in the sixth round of the FA Cup.

A first booking for simulation was protested by Di Maria who tugged the shirt of Michael Oliver, and the referee was given no option but to brandish a second yellow card.

Sold to PSG at the end of his one season in Manchester has significantly added to his trophy cabinet in Paris with four Ligue 1 crowns, five Coupe de France medals and four Coupe de la Ligue titles.

Anthony Martial

Marking his debut with a goal against Liverpool, then-manager Louis van Gaal remained adamant that the signing of Martial was not for him to enjoy but for future Man United managers.

Though the Frenchman went on to record double figures in his opening Premier League season, featuring 31 times in the top-flight.

A poor return the following season can be forgiven due to his young age and the former Monaco forward bounced back reaching double figures once more in his next two campaigns.

And it seemed Martial was ready to make the leap forward as United's main man in 2019, penning a new five-year deal as the Red Devils' top scorer with 23 goals.

But the Frenchman's form has fallen off a cliff since signing the improved contract.

Martial has netted just eight times in two seasons whilst receiving the first red card of his career for hitting out at Erik Lamela in the 6-1 humbling at Tottenham last campaign.

Adnan Januzaj

Racing onto the scene with a brace against Sunderland on his first start, Adnan Januzaj was immediately rewarded with a bumper five-year contract to stave off interest from elsewhere.

In the same year the young Belgian was even nominated for BBC Sport's Young Personality of the Year, having played just 10 games for the Red Devils.

Four goals in his breakthrough season saw him handed the no.11 shirt for the 2014/15 campaign, taking over from the recently retired Ryan Giggs.

But Januzaj would fail to score in the entirety of the campaign, finally breaking his year-long barren run the following season against Aston Villa.

Subsequent loans to Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland ensued before being shipped out permanently to Real Sociedad in 2017.

Jesse Lingard

Lingard's Man Utd career is still yet to explode but the 29-year-old is still hanging around Carrington in the anticipation he'll be given his chance at any moment.

Eight goals in 33 top-flight showings back in the 17/18 season showed promise but the England international failed to kick on and has since dropped massively down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Despite a successful loan move to West Ham United last season – scoring nine goals in 16 appearances – Lingard opted to stick around in Manchester but is yet to start a Premier League match for the Red Devils this season.

Still keen to see out his contract, Lingard looks destined to move on at the end of the current campaign when his deal expires.

Phil Jones

Featuring for the first time in 708 days against Wolves at the start of January, Phil Jones has battled back from injury to prove second chances may be afforded at Old Trafford.

Known for his unorthodox defending style and constant gurning face, Jones was written off some time ago by the United faithful and, in a similar sense to Lingard, there was a feeling he should have left to pursue more game time.

Called up to the England squad for Euro 2012 aged just 20, Jones was a regular in the Manchester United backline in the 2011/12 season before playing second fiddle to Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans as the Red Devils recorded their last top-flight title the season after.

A bit-part player since the 18/19 season, Jones has struggled with a long-term knee injury, seeing him feature just nine times in the past three campaigns.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

A low-risk signing after being released from PSG, Ibrahimovic penned a one-year deal at United in the summer of 2016.

At 33-years-old a stellar return of 29 goals in his opening campaign made the Red Devils desperate to re-sign him for the following season.

Though his second year in Manchester was not quite as successful.

The Swede struggled with knee ligament damage and made just seven appearances for Jose Mourinho's side before agreeing to terminate his contract in March 2018.

Carlos Tevez

Officially joining on loan in 2007 after the West Ham United transfer fiasco, Tevez went on to bag 14 goals in the league as Manchester United's second top scorer that season behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine recorded back-to-back Premier League titles in his two-year spell at the club as well as scoring the first goal in the Champions League final shootout versus Chelsea as United went on to claim their third European crown.

But his second season was marred by controversy – and a poor goal return – as Tevez refused to entertain the prospect of making his two-year loan deal permanent.

United had agreed to meet the option fee of £25.5 million and offered the Argentine a bumper five-year contract but Tevez snubbed the deal and signed for rivals Manchester City instead.


Currently playing in Ligue 1 with Nantes, Fabio broke into the Manchester United team as a teenager featuring 25 times for the Red Devils in the 2010/11 season.

But unable to dispel twin brother Rafael in his second season, Fabio was sent out on loan to QPR for the 2012/13 campaign before making the switch permanently to London at the end of his initial spell.

New manager David Moyes tried him out briefly in his first-team squad but was clearly not impressed with his four-minute showing against Swansea.

The Brazilian was handed a straight red card for his lunge on Jose Canas having only just been brought on as a substitute.

Federico Macheda

In one of the most famous Premier League debut appearances, Macheda's last-minute winner gave United the impetus to record a third successive title after a gripping race with arch-rivals Liverpool.

Receiving the ball on the edge of the area, Macheda chopped it onto his right foot before applying a deft finish into the bottom right corner which clipped the post on its way into the net.

The Italian though would fail to grasp his opportunity and subsequent loan moves away from the club failed to assist his progress.

After stints at QPR, Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham City, Macheda signed permanently for Cardiff in 2014 before being shipped out on loan to Nottingham Forest.

He now plies his trade in Greece playing first division football for Panathinaikos.

Ravel Morrison

Described by Man United teammate Rio Ferdinand as "the best young kid I have ever seen in my life," Ravel Morrison's three appearances for the first team failed to catch the eye.

The midfielder has since enjoyed the career of a football journeyman, playing for a wealth of Championship clubs as well as stints in Mexico, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Now under the stewardship of United legend Wayne Rooney at Derby County, Morrison has made 20 league appearances in a season for the first time since the 2012/13 campaign.

Quinton Fortune

A £1.5 million signing from Atletico Madrid, Fortune bagged two goals and an assist in his opening five Premier League matches as well as netting twice in 2000 FIFA Club World Championship.

But his impressive start proved to be just that and the South African fell quickly down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Having been used mostly as a squad player, Fortune was released by the club ahead of the 2006–07 campaign.

Now aged 44, the Cape Town-born midfielder is a first-team coach at Reading.

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