Does Marcus Rashford have a future at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho?

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Early in England’s UEFA Nations League match against Spain, Marcus Rashford gave a taste of what might yet be. The forward strolled onto a sublime through-ball from Luke Shaw, his Manchester United teammate, and finished with a single, supremely confident touch. His movement and self-assurance were of the highest quality.

For some, there may have been a reminder of his breakthrough season for United, when he played as an orthodox centre-forward and briefly looked as though he would play there for most of his career. Subsequent months and years have seen him out on the wing and — at times — out on a limb. The question is whether he can soon expect a central berth alongside Romelu Lukaku, and whether he can flourish there.6

It is not as though Rashford is not good enough to play well out wide: his performance against Liverpool last season, where he scored both goals in a 2-1 Premier League win, was proof of that. It is rather that his talents are probably displayed to best effect when he plays through the middle. He is unfazed by the biggest occasions, with his poorer performances normally coming when he has not had a run of games. Rashford, when fully fit and starting regularly, can be a formidable proposition.

Jose Mourinho is well aware of this, and is also conscious of the fact that Rashford still needs a little time to develop. There is a sense, too, that Rashford is a victim of his own versatility. Like Goran Pandev before him — the Macedonia forward who played for Mourinho at Inter Milan — he is a wonderfully gifted teenager who, although best deployed as a central striker, has the footballing intelligence to be a good nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Pandev, in that Treble-winning season in 2009-10, found himself on the flank in support of Diego Milito, a penalty-box expert. There are parallels with how Milito was used then and with how Lukaku is used now — as the focus of the attack, with two runners either side of him. That approach looks unlikely to change in the short term.