English legend Alan Shearer has today revealed his opinion that Marcus Rashford will never be afforded the room to develop into a ‘great goalscorer’, if he remains a Manchester United player.
20-year-old attacker Rashford has been on United’s books since 2005.
After making his way through the youth ranks in the years since, the attacker was first handed the chance to impress as a raw teen by Louis Van Gaal during the 2015/16 season.
And to say that Rashford took full advantage of this opportunity would be an understatement.
He was handed his debut during a Europa League clash with Midtjylland in 2016, and went on to notch a brace in a 5-1 win.
However, it was during a Premier League matchup with Arsenal 3 days later that Rashford truly exploded onto the scene.
In a 3-2 win, the then-18-year-old netted twice, as well as providing the assist for his side’s other goal.
Man United role
However, while Rashford is still regarded as one of the most-gifted young talents on the planet, some would no doubt argue that his goalscoring exploits over the seasons since have been a touch underwhelming.
The last two campaigns combined have seen the 20-year-old find the net just 12 times in the Premier League.
In Rashford’s defence, though, he has been consistently deployed on the wing.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic having occupied the centre-forward spot at Old Trafford two seasons ago, and Romelu Lukaku having done likewise last season, Rashford has essentially been converted into a wide-man as part of a front-3.
England 1-2 Spain
Rashford was, however, given the chance to showcase his talents as a striker for England versus Spain on Saturday night.
And the Red Devils’ starlet seized the chance with two hands. Despite missing a couple of excellent chances in front of goal, Rashford notched England’s only goal of a 2-1 loss, and looked a general nuisance throughout proceedings.
— England (@England) September 8, 2018
As such, calls will no doubt soon be incoming for Rashford to be afforded a chance at centre-forward at club-level.
‘Just not going to happen there’
One individual who feels as though such a chance will not be forthcoming, though, is Alan Shearer.
A once-prolific goalscorer himself, Shearer revealed his opinion that the competition for places at Manchester United means a centre-forward berth for Rashford at Old Trafford will simply be unattainable in the near future.
Speaking in an interview with the Sun, Shearer explained:
‘As long as Romelu Lukaku stays fit he is not going to get a starting spot as the lone striker at Old Trafford. As long as Jose Mourinho is the manager, there is not going to be two up top.’
‘Even if Lukaku did not play, my money would be on Alexis Sanchez being moved into the middle and further forward.’
‘And would Mourinho really turn to Rashford if he needed another striker? Or would he go to the transfer market for a tried and trusted ready-made goalscorer?’
‘Rashford has been played so long in a wide position in a three, that it does take time to readjust to his natural position.’
‘Time is not a great commodity in football nowadays. I am not advocating Rashford moves away from Old Trafford. It is a great club to be at. But if he wants to achieve an ambition to be recognised as a great goalscorer it is just not going to happen there.’
‘He would need to move with the assurance that his next club will make him the main man, the striker, the one up top or one of two. Then I truly believe he would develop into a goalscorer.’