Manchester United Football Club have had a mixed start to the season and perhaps the international break came at a good time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the injuries started to mount.
It’s always intriguing to see how Red Devils stars get on when they jet off to play for their countries during this period – and it’s fair to say that Marcus Rashford impressed against Bulgaria (after a slow start).
The 21-year-old would go on to win a penalty, in which Harry Kane would step up and slot home. What was interesting to me was Rashford line up in that wide-left position as opposed to the main striker. After the fans were calling for Solskjaer to make that switch, it seems as though Gareth Southgate believes playing on the left is currently his best position…
“There’s a little bit of that,” Southgate is quoted as saying by The Independent, of the United forward looking up to 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.”
For me, Rashford is interchangeable and that’s why the partnership with Anthony Martial has so much promise. Both can switch up their position mid-game depending on the particular attack, and when you throw Jesse Lingard into the mix, each can play in all three forward positions.
I still feel Rashford is most effective as the main striker, but he will need time to develop and grow. It’s easy to forget that he’s still only 21, though it does feel as though the local lad has been around for absolutely ages.
For what it’s worth I think this is the season in which Rashford breaks through that 20-goal barrier and really kicks on from here.