CNN  — 

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been advised by his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to “focus on football” rather than off-field commitments as he gets set to return from injury.

Last year, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Rashford led a campaign to end child food poverty and successfully lobbied the British government to continue providing free school meals during the holidays.

He also launched a book club to get disadvantaged children reading more earlier this year.

Solskjaer was not suggesting that the “fantastic things” Rashford has done off the pitch had previously affected his playing career, but the former Manchester United player believes it’s time for him to focus more on his footballing career.

“I know that we’ll see the best of Marcus in the years to come,” Solskjaer said in a press conference. “He’s done remarkable things at a young age, but he’s now coming into the best age for a footballer.

“He’s learning, getting more experienced and he’s time to reflect on, you know, what he’s done off the pitch as well, because he’s done some fantastic things.

Rashford during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road on April 25, 2021.

“Now maybe prioritize his football and focus on football, because he’s got a challenge on his hands here at Manchester United.

“He has a challenge on his hands to play for England, and I think Marcus is one of those who takes up those challenges and is going to do so.

“He’s going to express himself and his talent and he knows that we want a lot from him, but we’re going to give him the time to get back to what he was and what he can be.”

Rashford has yet to make an appearance for Manchester United this season as he recovers from shoulder surgery he underwent in July after England’s defeat in the final of Euro 2020 to Italy.

Despite being just 23 years of age, Rashford has made 271 appearances for the club, scoring 88 goals. He’s also made 46 England appearances, scoring 12 goals.

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Rashford’s campaign to tackle child food poverty in the UK led to 1.7 million vulnerable children being supported by a $736 million (£520m) government scheme.

He’s done it at the same time as being one of Manchester United’s most pivotal players, helping it to second place in the Premier League and runner up in the Europa League.

Rashford was awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable children during the Covid-19 pandemic.