Marcus Rashford has opened up about his favourite position at Manchester United, expressing a preference for the No.9 role.
The teenager burst onto the global scene with a series of sensational performances up front under Louis van Gaal last season, earning a place in the England squad ahead of the European Championship in France.
He has, however, featured primarily as a winger under Jose Mourinho, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic cementing himself as the side’s first choice No.9.
Rashford, speaking to Marca, claimed that he enjoyed playing at No.9 more but made it clear that playing on the wing was important for his development.
“I don’t mind playing either,” he noted, “but I prefer to play as a number 9. I think it’s easier to score goals. Of course, playing at the side also helps me to develop in the middle, as a striker. It is an important part.
“Jose tells me to be calm and try to play in games as I usually do in training. That same thing that he tells me is what the rest of the players are trying to do.”
Most youngsters find themselves being forced to play in unusual positions once they break into the first team. Paddy McNair, for example, excelled in a central midfield role whilst playing in the youth set-up, but had to acclimatise to life at centre-back – or even right back – whenever he featured for the first team, notably struggling on a number of occasions.
Rashford, on the other hand, has flourished in this new role, demonstrating the same levels of raw power and fearlessness on the flank that United fans witnessed last season, whilst also acting as a superb alternative to Ibrahimovic in the No.9 role in games against Arsenal and Reading under Mourinho.
Such versatility will, no doubt, help the youngster excel in the long run.