Gareth Southgate on Man United star Marcus Rashford’s best position
England boss Gareth Southgate replies when asked if Man United's Marcus Rashford is suited to play as a striker
Gareth Southgate says he is unsure whether Marcus Rashford is suited to play as a central striker in the England and Manchester United first-teams.
Rashford’s best position has been a source of debate throughout the Premier League season so far after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to use the England international in such a role.
Manchester United have a shortage of centre-forwards after the Red Devils opted to sell Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan in the summer transfer window.
Alexis Sanchez also completed a loan move to the Serie A club to leave Solskjaer with Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood to use in a central striker role.
Rashford started as Manchester United’s focal attacking point in a 1-1 draw with Southampton in their last Premier League fixture before the international break.
However, the 21-year-old produced an underwhelming performance as his finishing proved erratic.
But England manager Southgate believes that Rashford’s best work usually occurs out wide rather than in central positions.
“There’s a little bit of that,” Southgate was quoted as saying by Metro when asked if Rashford is inspired by Harry Kane.
“But also, a little bit, that although we’ve for a long time almost wanted Marcus to be that option as a nine, I’m still not certain that that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work.
“A lot of his development at United was as a ‘wide raider’ and I think he isn’t as strong as Harry with his back to goal and holding play up, so if he plays as a nine, he will play it differently to Harry, but a lot of his best work is in that inside-left channel coming in off the line.
“I don’t think that’s a problem, we just have to be aware that that’s probably his profile to get the best out of him, they’re the areas on the pitch that he needs to get in.”
Rashford scored twice in Manchester United’s 4-0 victory over Chelsea FC in their season opener at Old Trafford last month.
However, the England striker has failed to find the net in Manchester United’s next three games against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Southampton.
Manchester United will host Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.