OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is going back to the future by applying Manchester United legends to make Marcus Rashford a single of Europe’s deadliest hitmen.
And if it has the exact same influence as a related strategy just more than a decade ago, the 21-year-old will bag a hatful.
In 2007, Sir Alex Ferguson felt a 22-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo would be far additional unsafe if he switched from out-and-out wideboy to central striker.
Fergie and his coaching group place Ronaldo by means of a series of intense finishing sessions, which incorporated equally detailed video research.
That featured footage of United’s most prolific marksman of the time, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.
There was also a concentrate on Solskjaer, whose targets earned him the Child-faced Assassin nickname.
The reward came when Ronaldo went from 17 targets the preceding season to 31 in the Prem, 42 in all.
And it led to a string of player of the year awards, to go with the title and Champions League glory.
Now boss Solskjaer is placing Rashford — who spent significantly of his time beneath Jose Mourinho on the flanks — by means of the exact same routine.
That was why he was delighted to let Romelu Lukaku leave for Inter Milan and did not view United’s lack of an incoming summer season striker as a issue. The Norwegian is supervising sessions himself, with Rashford studying clips of Portuguese Ronaldo now.
There has been distinct operate on a single and two-touch strikes and movement in the central location of the penalty box.
And Solskjaer will be hoping Rashford can comply with his two-objective displaying against Chelsea with one more net-busting show against Wolves tomorrow evening.
A supply told The Sun on Sunday: “Part of the cause Ole was delighted for Lukaku to leave is he has total self-confidence in Marcus as a goalscorer.
“He showed that final season when he produced him the principal striker.
“But one more portion of his tactical rejig is pushing Anthony Martial in from the left-hand side and asking him to play additional forward.
“He’s offered Martial the No 9 shirt and has been demanding they create additional of an understanding in education.
“He’s told them how significantly he prices them and believes they can turn into as very good as Yorke and Cole, which is rather a compliment when you believe he played with them.
“He’s told them they can turn into a single of the ideal strike forces in the league. Ole’s offered them each and every likelihood — the rest is up to them.”
Solskjaer is convinced Rashford, whose ideal return has been 13 in every single of the final two campaigns, can return double that figure if he is utilized down the middle.
Ironically, the England forward in fact has a far better return at 21 than Ronaldo did at the exact same age.
When Ronaldo had played 170 games, he boasted 32 targets. Rash has netted 47 in a single match additional.
And Rashford admits he is loving studying his boyhood hero.
He revealed: “I went to each and every house game because the age of six or seven and when Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney had been at their ideal. everybody wanted to be like them.
“Ronaldo is the ideal I saw developing up and playing reside. He has won 5 Ballon d’Ors — but nonetheless has the determination and drive to enhance.
“Most folks do not have that. Cristiano has and that is what has produced him a single of the ideal ever.
“Whenever folks ask me if it is Lionel Messi or him, it is often Ronaldo. Normally.”
That additional operate clearly paid an quick return in their four- win more than Chelsea final weekend — a dream begin to the new Premier League campaign.
Thoughts you, there is a way to go just before his stats examine with the Portuguese legend — who has gone on to notch 689 targets.
Final month Rashford signed a new £200,000-a-week deal which ties him to the club till 2023.
And former United defender Phil Neville has now urged Rashford and Martial to aim for 20 targets every single this season.
He stated: “They have got to be aiming to score 20 targets apiece this season.
“And, if they can do that, then Manchester United will challenge for the prime 4 — which basically has to be their aim.”