Jamie Carragher has questioned whether Marcus Rashford needs to leave Manchester United to become one of the world’s best forwards.
The former-Liverpool player drew comparisons between Rashford and his Man United teammate Romelu Lukaku, who is in front of Rashford in the pecking order.
Rashford’s game time at United in a central striking position has been extremely limited since Lukaku was signed for an initial £75 million from Everton in 2017.
He’s played frequently on the left wing, but very rarely as a striker, meaning he can often look disjointed when he eventually does play centrally again.
“Romelu Lukaku is in front of Rashford and I don’t see Rashford displacing him as long as he is there,” Carragher explained.
“But remember when Lukaku was at Chelsea and he had to come away and go to Everton. Then he ended up as top scorer and got his move to Man Utd.
“Possibly Everton is the sort of club you are looking at, just below the top six, for someone like Rashford, similar to what Lukaku did.
“You know you are going to play every week as the centre-forward and you know if you have a couple of games where you don’t score then you are still going to play the next week.
“Last season after they played Brighton away, Mourinho had a little pop at him and Lukaku went straight back into the team. That’s the problem you will always have.”
It’s an interesting point that isn’t often raised in this debate. Rashford does sometimes get a chance up front, but it’s never backed up by another chance the next week. Manager Jose Mourinho needs to allow him time to make the role his own. The problem is, he doesn’t have that time.
“Does he have to leave United? I think so,” Carragher continued.
“In that position you have got to be world class. Rashford is not world class yet, but he might be at 23 or 24, as Lukaku has done. He looks like one of the best strikers in the world.
“Rashford may have to move away to come back to one of the top teams.”
It’s unfair to suggest that Rashford gets no chances at United. But the example of Lukaku is a good comparison. United offer more chances to young players than Chelsea, but Rashford cannot displace Lukaku in that central role.
A loan move could be possible, but might not be a big enough break away to really progress and could be seen as a downgrade. A move for Rashford could see him develop as quickly as possible and be Harry Kane’s successor in the England side and potentially earn a move back to United.
But United fans would be gutted to see him leave, and it’s worth remembering that he’s still only 20.