Manchester United star Marcus Rashford is NOT a centre-forward, England boss Gareth Southgate believes.
The Red Devils star has been played as a no.9 for the majority of his career, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has preferred to select him out wide throughout the early stages of this season.
And as Harry Kane is the Three Lions’ talisman and guaranteed starter at centre-forward, Rashford regularly features out wide for his country.
And Southgate believes Rashford is ‘happiest’ when on the wing, though the boss has admitted the 21-year-old is ‘still a work in progress’.
“For a long time we have almost wanted Marcus to be that option as a no .9,” said Southgate, “but I’m still not certain that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work.
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“Marcus is still relatively young. Over the last 12 to 18 months with us he’s had a big impact on our games with a number of goals and assists. So, I think he’s still a work in progress.
“A lot of his development at United was as a ‘wide raider’ and I think he isn’t as strong as Harry Kane with his back to goal holding play up.
“If he plays as a no. 9, he will play it differently to Harry, but a lot of his best work is on the left coming in off the line.
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“I don’t think that’s a problem; we have to be aware that’s probably his profile to get the best out of him, they’re the areas that he needs to get in.”
Rashford has not scored for Manchester United since netting twice in their opening weekend defeat of Chelsea last month, while his most recent England goal came against the Netherlands during the Nations League finals in June.