Marchus Rashford should not play as a central striker for Manchester United, says Jose Mourinho
Mourinho worked with the England international during his two-and-a-half years in charge at Old Trafford, during which time Rashford was a regular in the United side, playing 105 games over Mourinho's two fulls seasons in charge.
The 21-year-old has appeared across the front three for United and has expressed a desire to play as a central striker. but the Portuguese believes he is far more effective coming in from the left.
'I always thought his best position is when he comes from the left to the centre, not when he's a clear number nine,' Mourinho said on Sky Sports.
'I always thought it was better for him to come from the side, especially the left side.'
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane agreed that Rashford is not suited to play as a central striker: 'The hardest position to play at Old Trafford is up through the middle,' said the Irishman. 'Playing with his back to goal is not one of his strengths.'
Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has encouraged Rashford to be versatile, wanting to deploy him in all three positions up front, as he wants to with Anthony Martial as well.
'Marcus is a centre forward who can play left, right and as a No 10,' Solskjaer told Sky Sports. 'He wants to be able to play all the positions. I want him to be facing the goal, I want to be direct and attacking quickly, so at the moment I see him coming in off the left or as part of a two up front.
'Marcus' movement is great, but maybe we just need to give him a game or two of rest because he's played a lot. Sometimes, because he's a young boy with lots of expectations on his shoulders, he's played four or five seasons now, and yet he's still not even 22 yet.
'He's a scorer of great goals, as he did for England. I want him to become a great goalscorer - and that's a different mentality. At the moment, he's learning his trade.'
Rashford has scored three goals in the Premier League so far this season and netted for England in the 6-0 win over Bulgaria earlier this week.
The discussion over his best position arose again ahead of the clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon when he lined up with Andreas Perreira and Daniel James in a front three.
The trio were somewhat interchangeable, but Rashford did largely line-up on the left, James on the right and Perreira slightly behind, but through the middle.
Gary Neville concurred with the assessment of Mourinho during the match, commenting on Sky Sports: 'Playing as a central striker doesn't suit him [Rashford], he's better coming in from out wide, he's more free.'
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