Marcus Rashford is putting extra “strain on his body” while trying to shoulder the main goalscoring burden for Manchester United, according to Paul Ince.
Rashford is currently enjoying his best season yet in a United shirt, adding a clinical edge to his game which had previously been lacking.
The 22-year-old has scored 19 goals in 31 appearances across all competitions, including 14 in the Premier League, which accounts for almost half of United’s overall tally.
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The England international has emerged as the most important player in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, but that extra responsibility is beginning to take its toll.
Rashford was forced off the pitch with a back issue shortly after coming on as a substitute in a 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay against Wolves in midweek, and is now a major doubt for Sunday’s huge showdown with Liverpool.
Ince thinks United’s overall lack of quality is to blame for Rashford’s injury, with it his belief that Liverpool and Manchester City still boast far stronger squads.
“Rashford is one of the very few players I would call a proper United player in that team,” the ex-United midfielder told The Sun .
“He understands the history and what level you need to be a top player.
“He is at that level and goes the extra 100 yards – and he puts a strain on his body by doing that.
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“Maybe that’s the reason he gets injured. Liverpool and City can go two goals or three goals up and bring off their top players – United cannot do that.
“The club relies on Rashford because they cannot score goals without him.
“Is he the victim of his own success? You could say that, but this is where they are currently.”
Ince did, however, raise doubts over Rashford’s durability, insisting that a player at his age “should be able to play every game”.
“When you are at that age however, you should be able to play every game,” Ince added.
“We are not talking about me when I was at Wolves at 34 or 35 and having to sit out of training sessions because I was that old.
“When you are young and playing well you want to play every game and should be capable.”
After United’s trip to Anfield, Solskjaer will start preparing his players for another crucial Premier League clash, with Burnley set to arrive at Old Trafford on Wednesday.