MARCUS RASHFORD is now one of the most-feared forwards on the planet – and a lot of it is down to ex-Blackburn and West Ham striker Benni McCarthy.

The 45-year-old former South Africa international arrived at Manchester United along with Erik ten Hag last summer.

Marcus Rashford is in the form of his life for Manchester United


Marcus Rashford is in the form of his life for Manchester UnitedCredit: AP
The coaching sessions with Benni McCarthy have been paying off for the ace


The coaching sessions with Benni McCarthy have been paying off for the aceCredit: Getty

He was named as the club’s new specialised attacking coach, and his star pupil is undoubtedly the Premier League’s most in-form player.

The England striker scored just five goals last season but already has a career-best 24 this campaign after his two-goals in the 3-0 win over Leicester on Sunday.

And during the game it was not only Rashford’s name being sung by the Stretford End, McCarthy’s was too.

The veteran’s one-on-one sessions have helped transform Rashford’s confidence and turn him into a much more direct striker.

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And the ace’s heading ability has also improved dramatically, as his recent goals against Leeds and West Ham have proven.

Supporters hailed McCarthy as the club’s “signing of the season” last week.

McCarthy got his initial big move from his homeland to Ajax in 1997 and went on to enjoy a spell in Spain with Celta Vigo before a transfer to Porto.

There he memorably scored against United as Jose Mourinho’s Porto dumped them out of the Champions League on their way to winning the trophy in 2004.


He scored 37 times in 109 appearances during his four years at Blackburn prior to joining West Ham in 2010, but he struggled in East London and returned home to Orlando Pirates in the South African Premier Division for two seasons before retiring.

McCarthy then embarked on his coaching career as an observer at Hibernian and then as assistant manager at Belgian side Sint-Truiden before becoming boss at Cape Town City in 2017 and winning South Africa’s MTN 8 Cup.

He then joined AmaZulu and led them into the CAF Champions League following the club’s best-ever league finish but left them to join Ten Hag at United in August.

Upon his arrival, he said: “[I want to] help these young players, push them, change their mindset and really try to make the difference to United this season.

“Hopefully this season we’re going to see a completely revived United, a hungry bunch of players and a team that’s going to be able to challenge to get into the Champions League and change the dynamics of the Man Citys and Liverpools.”

He later explained the key things he would be working on were “coordinating movements and finishing and making sure that the guys are sharp and that they’re ready and that the goalscoring continues and that they get the right goal scoring boots on.”

And Rashford has not hidden how much McCarthy – who speaks English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese fluently – has benefitted his game.

He recently said: “He’s definitely helped me a lot. To have attack-minded coaches is good for us. He’s always there speaking to us about these things.”

Now supporters and McCarthy will be desperate for Rashford’s hot-streak to continue at Wembley this Sunday when United face Newcastle in the Carabao Cup Final.

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