'He is not a target man' - Mourinho warns Man Utd about Rashford

The former Red Devils boss says the England striker needs play in the right position in order to fulfil his potential
The former Red Devils boss says the England striker needs play in the right position in order to fulfil his potential

Jose Mourinho says Marcus Rashford is not a target man but can still be a huge asset for Manchester United if deployed in the right way.

Rashford scored the opening goal in United’s clash with rivals Liverpool on Sunday, though the Red Devils were denied victory thanks to a late Adam Lallana equaliser.

It was just rewards for a much-improved performance by the 21-year-old, who hadn’t scored in his previous five United appearances in all competitions.

The England forward was played as a split striker alongside Daniel James, who set up Rashford for his goal.

Former Red Devils manager Mourinho praised current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the tactical switch as he feels it brought the best out of the young forward.

"When we beat Liverpool a couple of years ago, we played with Rashford and Romelu Lukaku up front. He is not a target man, he is a man of movement,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"I do not think he is a pure nine. If Ole is going to play him as he did today then I think he is the perfect player for him.

"He's young but he is experienced. With 21 years he probably has more matches than some players who are 24, 25. For me he is potentially a very good player, in some models and in some positions.

"As a number nine I don't think he has the 30 goals a season in him. I don't think he can get better as a target man. To be better as a target man is difficult for him."

Former United defender Gary Neville felt Rashford benefited from some time away from the Red Devils during the international break.

Rashford scored the opener in England’s Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria on Monday and carried that form into Sunday’s clash against Liverpool.

"I thought he looked beat two weeks ago. I felt he needed to come out of the team. The international break has done him good. He looked like himself,” Neville told Sky Sports.

"He's still young. Players have to develop. United have to make a decision - they have to buy but not necessarily at the expense of Marcus Rashford. Of course he needs help."

Former United midfielder Roy Keane also praised Rashford’s display but has challenged him to maintain his level of performance in the coming weeks.

"He looked back to his old self - energy, a goal threat, strong and powerful,” he told  Sky Sports. “The position suited him a bit more. But he's got to be consistent and kick on now.

“The goal for England gave him confidence... you speak to any striker - it's a confidence boost. You could see in his body language; he was taking people on, making things happen.”

What to Read Next