Marcus in the middle?

Marcus Rashford might flourish in a new position


Alan Shearer believes Marcus Rashford will not become a true goalscorer under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United

Alan Shearer believes Marcus Rashford will not become a true goalscorer if he remains playing as a wide attacker under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The 20-year-old is capable of playing in multiple roles across United's attack but is usually deployed to the left of Romelu Lukaku by Mourinho.

Rashford scored the opening goal for England in their 2-1 defeat to Spain on Saturday evening.

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Is Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford better in the middle?

By Joe Harker

England forward Marcus Rashford scored a goal made in Manchester United during the 2-1 Nations League defeat to Spain. Luke Shaw provided the assist to Rashford, who scored past David De Gea. Left back, striker and goalkeeper all play for United at club level, though Rashford most often plays in a different position, shunted out to the wing to make way for Romelu Lukaku.

As with every young English player who has the talent and potential to become great, there is much discussion over Rashford's best position and the right way to develop him. Some have voiced concerns that he is not getting the best development at club level and suggested that he needs to consider a move away from United to become the player many believe he can be.

At United he is not the first choice striker or left winger, with Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez preferred in those positions. While he makes plenty of appearances and has not struggled for minutes under Jose Mourinho there are concerns that he is stagnating. He has only scored once in his last 15 appearances for the club, last netting against Watford in United's final Premier League game of last season.

It is unreasonable to expect a player as young as Rashford to be first choice striker at a club like United and some of his best performances have come working in a strike partnership, a rare thing at the top level of football these days. As a player he is far from the finished article but at United he may never be played in a system that features him in his best position.

Former England striker Alan Shearer believes Rashford will never be first choice striker at United, certain that Lukaku will always be ahead of him in the pecking order. He also said that as long as Mourinho is manager at Old Trafford there will only be one striker playing, relegating Rashford to a backup role.

England manager Gareth Southgate has told Rashford that he needs to be playing more often. With the exception of players he desperately needs to make his system work, Southgate has a policy of picking players who are appearing regularly for their clubs. Behind Lukaku in the pecking order as a striker and behind Sanchez for the left wing role, Rashford's clear quality may not be enough to guarantee him a place in future Three Lions squads.

The chances of Rashford leaving United in the near future are low. He is contracted to the club until 2020 with the option of another year and is one of Ed Woodward's "untouchables", players who will not be sold at any price.

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