Gareth Southgate has given his thoughts on Marcus Rashford‘s best position for the England senior side, noting that playing wide would help aid the 19-year-old’s development.
Rashford, who expertly led the line for Manchester United following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury in April, recently expressed a preference for playing at No.9.
He has been used out wide by Southgate ever since the former Under 21 coach took the reigns in October and started out on the left hand side for England’s 2-2 draw with Scotland last weekend.
And Southgate has noted that, at this age, experiencing a variety of roles would be helpful for Rashford further down the line.
“He’s had incredible experiences throughout the season,” he said.
“But I don’t think it’s important at this particular time that he is pinned down to one position. He has the ability – and has had right through his youth career – to play wide and play central. He has recognised that, talking to him. It is a good opportunity for him to learn the game and get a broader view of the game.
“The reality is … who knows what his best position will be in the end? We all have a feeling that it will be as a nine but he is a player that can beat players from wide areas and, for us, we thought it gave us another goalscoring threat coming into the game. I don’t see it as a problem at this stage.”
Rashford established himself in the first team with a series of bombastic performances up front and, by extension, has provided his most memorable moments in a Man United shirt in that role as well.
You do sense that, in the long run, that is where the teenager will find himself playing, but with the likes of Harry Kane – and possibly Alvaro Morata – currently pulling rank over Rashford’s relative inexperience, featuring out wide serves as something as an alternative opportunity to develop further for a player neither Southgate nor Jose Mourinho will want to leave out of their respective starting XIs.