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Marcus Rashford: The Manchester United striker must make football a priority, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Rashford played five games for England at Euro 2020, all as replacements

Marcus Rashford must “prioritize his football” if he is to face the dual challenges of playing for club and country, said Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 23-year-old striker has received high praise for his off-field work tackling child food poverty.

But Solskjaer said: “He’s the prime age for a footballer and he has a challenge ahead of him here at Manchester United – and a challenge ahead of him playing for England.”

Rashford became an MBE in 2020 and this month received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.

However, Solskjaer says the striker needs to focus on his day job.

However, the manager doesn’t believe that Rashford’s off-field activities have affected his on-field performance.

“Marcus has done some remarkable and fantastic things,” added Solskjaer as Rashford prepares to return from shoulder surgery after Euro 2020.

“But now he may have to prioritize his football.”

Rashford is already close to 300 appearances for United, in addition to 46 caps for England.

However, when he tried to shake off the effects of his shoulder discomfort, he underperformed in the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal in May. Rashford was also limited to substitute stakes in Euro 2020 for England.

Solskjaer is not overly concerned.

“Marcus knows we want a lot from him, but we will give him the time to return to what he was and can be,” he said.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer has dismissed Sir Alex Ferguson’s criticism of his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of the home game at Everton on October 2.

Ferguson told UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov that manager should always play their strongest team in a video uploaded to social media.

“I’m really relaxed about that,” added Solskjaer. “It’s not really fair for something like this to be broadcast. You always have an opinion and you talk to people with confidence.

“I’ve told my wife a couple of times that I disagree with him, but that never made any headlines as a player.

“I’m sure Sir Alex knows I don’t mind. We all want to see Cristiano because he’s unique.

“But the simple fact is that he can’t play every single game. That’s just physical nature and human nature.”

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