Erik ten Hag decided to start the 24-year-old ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo yet again at the Etihad. However, he couldn't make a visible impact on the game.
United were battered in the first half and were 4-0 down heading into the break. Rashford was eventually replaced by Anthony Martial, who managed to get a brace. Antony also scored a wonderful goal to salvage some lost pride for the Red Devils as the match ended 6-3 in favor of the hosts.
Rashford, who burst onto the scene during the 2015-16 season, has long been tipped to be a successful player for United. However, Souness believes the player has barely shown any improvement since then.
While speaking to talkSPORT in the aftermath of Manchester United's awful performance, Souness said of Rashford:
“Time is not your friend in football, you have to be winning games today, It's not about waiting for Marcus Rashford to become the player that most people believe he can be. It's not about giving Martial, because of his age, a place in the team over Ronaldo. It's about today in football. Yeah, I would have [played] Ronaldo." (h/t mirror.co.uk)
Souness went on to add how the Manchester United academy graduate has been the same since making his United debut:
"Marcus Rashford, when he first burst into the team as a young player you thought ‘he's the real deal’. He's stood still. If you were to ask me today, next week, big game - for all his shortcomings, Ronaldo, I would have played him in front of Rashford.”
Rashford was heavily criticized for his poor performances last season as he scored just five goals in 32 matches in all competitions. He has started the season comparatively better, scoring three goals in seven matches.
Benching Cristiano Ronaldo for Marcus Rashford could be deterimental for Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo has not made the best start to the Premier League campaign. Rashford, meanwhile, had a strong start to his season, scoring three goals and providing two assists in seven games.
At 37, Ronaldo is perhaps not the same player that he used to be three or four years ago. That said, he was the club's top scorer last season, scoring 24 goals in 38 games for United last season, including 18 league goals.
Rashford has never matched that tally in is career.
While Ronaldo has scored only once in eight games for Manchester United this season, he has appeared as a substitute in five of those games.
With a player like the Portuguese ace, it's often a factor of finding the rhythm. Whether benching the five-time Ballon d'Or winner would help him do that is questionable.