‘Rashford isn’t a natural goalscorer’ – No. 9 questions of Man Utd star are ‘spot on’, says ShearerThe former England international striker is among those yet to be convinced that a promising forward can thrive as a central frontman
Marcus Rashford is “not a natural goalscorer” and has not done enough to earn a central striking berth for Manchester United and England, says Paul Merson.
The 20-year-old frontman has stated in the past that he hopes to operate down the middle for club and country once fully established as a senior star.
He has, however, been stuck in wider berths by both Jose Mourinho and Gareth Southgate on a regular basis.
That is because he faces fierce competition for places from the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane, who have both shown themselves to be prolific goal-getters over a number of years.
Rashford has been unable to match their achievements as yet, with former England international Merson suggesting that he still misses too many chances to be the focal point of any given attack.
He told Sky Sports ahead of a potential Nations League outing for the Three Lions against Spain: "I don't think he's a gifted finisher, he's not a natural goalscorer.
"People will say he scored three in three for England before the Croatia game, but he's not a natural goalscorer.
"When you're playing for a top club, and playing for England, you need to be putting chances away. You look at Romelu Lukaku scoring two the other night for Belgium - he's a goalscorer.
"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."
Another former England star, ex-Liverpool striker Emile Heskey, has also questioned Rashford’s conversion rate.
He said after seeing the United forward fail to take any of his opportunities in a 0-0 draw with Croatia: "It's great that he's getting in those positions.
"A lot of players, when you miss a chance like the first one, you don't want the ball and your head goes down.
"But he's not like that, he wants the ball, he gets on it and getting in the right positions, and his finishing was just a little bit disappointing."