Ex-Arsenal man Paul Merson believes Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford is “not a natural goalscorer”.
The young English forward missed two key chances for England in the Three Lions’ 0-0 draw with Croatia on Friday night in front of an empty stadium away from home, due to a UEFA punishment.
But no one was using the situation as an excuse as Rashford showed he’s not quite clinical enough to start up front for England or Man United yet.
Merson claims it has showed that Rashford isn’t a natural goalscorer, even though he’s an excellent player.
”People will say he scored three in three for England before the Croatia game, but he’s not a natural goalscorer,” Sky Sports pundit Merson said.
“When you’re playing for a top club, and playing for England, you need to be putting chances away.”
Merson drew comparisons between Rashford and his United teammate, Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian was brought in from Everton for a huge £75m fee a couple of years ago and has stopped Rashford from starting up front regularly. United boss Jose Mourinho has played Rashford predominantly on the left flank.
“You look at Romelu Lukaku scoring two the other night for Belgium – he’s a goalscorer,” Merson continued.
“There was a header against Newcastle from six yards out, he put it wide, and the chances in Croatia the other night, you can’t play up front for one of the biggest clubs in the world and miss chances like that.
“You need to be putting them away to play up front for Manchester United.”
It was disappointing to see Rashford fail to convert two great chances, but while it could be used as evidence of clinical finishing missing from his game, it could be a one-off. For example, Rashford was clinical against Liverpool at the end of last season when he scored twice for United.
His problem is not being a natural goalscorer, it is consistency. Lukaku can be used as a comparison, but if that’s the case then we have to look at his bad recent games for United where his movement has been shocking and he hasn’t scored.