Alan Shearer feels Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has rediscovered his form after Cristiano Ronaldo's exit. Ronaldo left the club in November via mutual termination of his contract.
This came as a result of his explosive interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan. United have won the Carabao Cup and have reached the final of the FA Cup in the Portuguese superstar's absence.
Shearer believes Ronaldo's presence held Rashford back. Speaking to BBC Sport, the former Newcastle United striker said:
"There’s no doubt Erik ten Hag has helped him, his finishing has improved, he’s fitter now. Last season he played with a lot of injuries which didn’t help his situation but - and it’s a big but - I think the biggest thing that has happened to him is Ronaldo leaving."
"He feels as if he’s the main man, he feels as if he can be himself, he feels it doesn’t if he misses a chance as he’s still going to get another one, he’s still going to be able to play the next game. You can see the difference when Ronaldo left - 17 in 19 games."
Shearer further said:
"I still think his finishing can improve at times. Yes, he’s very good down the middle but I still think on that left-hand side with his ability to sniff out things and run in behind and have that big space to run into, he’s been an important player this season. He looks happy - happy to be himself again - and I do think a big part of that is Ronaldo leaving."
In Cristiano Ronaldo's absence, Marcus Rashford has turned out to be Manchester United's main man in attack. He has scored 30 goals and has provided 11 assists in 55 matches across competitions this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr after leaving Manchester United
He scored 14 goals and provided three assists for Al-Nassr this season after his January debut. Ronaldo helped Al-Alamy secure a second-place finish in the Saudi Pro League.
Ronaldo couldn't help Al-Nassr win a trophy in his first half of the season with the club. However, the team look set to appoint a new coach next season. Whether they can secure silverware in Ronaldo's second season at the club remains to be seen.