Alan Shearer claims ‘biggest’ reason behind Marcus Rashford’s rise is Ronaldo leaving Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man United exit has been the ‘biggest’ thing behind Marcus Rashford’s superb goal-scoring season, says Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer claims the ‘biggest reason’ for Marcus Rashford’s steep rise in form is the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rashford returned the best goal tally of his career this season with 30 goals in all competitions after struggling to find his feet in recent years.

Shearer believes Ronaldo’s transfer to Al-Hilal in January is the key to his success as the Englishman has now become the ‘main man’ at Old Trafford.

Speaking during his broadcast duties for the BBC ahead of United’s FA Cup final against Manchester City on Saturday, he said: ‘Quite a few things Gary, there’s no doubt Erik ten Hag has helped him, his finishing definitely has improved, he’s fitter now, last season he had a lot injuries that didn’t help him. 

‘But, and it’s a big but, I think the biggest thing that’s happened to him is Ronaldo leaving. 

Alan Shearer believes Marcus Rashford has benefitted from the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo

‘He feels as though he’s the main man, he can be himself, he feels as though it doesn’t matter if he misses a chance, he’s still going to get another one and another game.

‘You can see that in the 17 or 19 games since Ronaldo left, so that tells you the answer… He looks happier and a big reason for that is Ronaldo leaving.’

Before making the switch to Saudi Arabia five months ago, Ronaldo was unhappy at United and it is understood to have had a negative affect on the dressing room.

At the start of the 2022/2023 campaign he failed to report for preseason training on time and then missed the Red Devil’s preseason tours in Thailand and Australia.

After being dropped by Erik ten Hag in October, the 37 year-old refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and was subsequently excluded from the squad.