Ralf Rangnick has suggested he regrets the decision to loan out Manchester United forward Anthony Martial as he discussed the club’s underwhelming season.
The Red Devils are sixth in the Premier League going into their final game against Crystal Palace on Sunday, 10 points outside of the top four and 32 points behind leaders Manchester City.
After an encouraging start under Rangnick, results soon fell away and the German coach believes the side ‘lost momentum’ largely due to a shortage of attacking players.
While Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 24 goals in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford, Manchester United have struggled going forward with Martial loaned out, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho struggling, Edinson Cavani often injured and Mason Greenwood absent due to off-field issues.
Martial completed a loan move to Sevilla in January and while he has flattered to deceive in Spain – failing to score in 12 appearances – Rangnick has suggested his presence at Old Trafford would have helped United.
Asked to reflect on his time in charge, Rangnick told MUTV: ‘We had a very good start against Crystal Palace and with regards to the result away against Norwich.
‘Two wins to start with, [but in] the draw against Newcastle we already saw some problems that we had in that game. [We had a] home win against Burnley, so with 10 out of 12 points we had a very good start.
‘We also showed some good performances thereafter, but I think the defeat against Atletico, from then on we had problems, we were struggling to keep our momentum.
‘We lost our confidence and energy, we also lost some players, unfortunately. After the West Ham game we were missing out some offensive players with Mason Greenwood, with Anthony Martial, and in too many games also Edinson Cavani was not available.
‘That’s why we just lost our momentum. We lost our shape and our form, especially in the last eight weeks I would say, we were not in the same shape and we didn’t show the same performances that we did before.’
Rangnick will be replaced by Erik ten Hag at the end of the season and the interim boss is confident his successor can bring success back to the Theatre of Dreams.
‘I am positive that this can happen, together with Erik, we have a modern coach who has proven himself in the last years at Ajax that he is one of the best coaches in Europe,’ he added.
‘We have all the facilities here. We have the stadium, we have a capacity of almost 80,000, every home game sold out, we have a very good training ground, we have good staff members.
‘So it’s all there, so if we now make sure we get the quality mentality players that a club like Manchester United needs in the next windows, I am positive that we can bring back Manchester United to the top flight of this league.’
Ten Hag will be in attendance at Selhurst Park as Manchester United look to end the season on a high note and qualify for the Europa League.
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