Paul Parker Says Marcus Rashford Is 'Not Doing Enough' for Manchester United

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford on September 14, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has said Marcus Rashford must improve if he wants to be the Red Devils' primary striker.

The England international has featured as a No. 9 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season after Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez departed for Inter Milan.

The Norwegian is trusting Rashford and Anthony Martial to score goals, but the two-time Premier League winner has said the 21-year-old is "not doing enough" in his position.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford on September 14, 2019 in Manchester, Unite
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Speaking to Alexander Netherton of Goal, Parker said Rashford needs to continue his development and that United should consider signing a new No. 9 similar to former striker Andy Cole.

"The hardest thing about United is trying to work out the direction they want to play.

"They need to find a centre forward who has a lot of pace, maybe like Andy Cole. When Cole came from Newcastle United he did so as a natural goalscorer, but he was able to adapt, to drop deep and link up with play in midfield.

"Does Rashford score tap-ins?

"He's still learning. You don't have to go off stats, you look at how the game is. He's not doing enough."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Mason Greenwood of Manchester United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the UEFA Europa League group L match between Manchester United and FK Astana at Old Trafford on September 19, 2019 in Manchester
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Mason Greenwood opened his goalscoring account for the season on Thursday during the 1-0 win over Astana in the UEFA Europa League. The 17-year-old played on the right of the attack, allowing Rashford to feature as the striker. The Mancunian missed several chances in the box, but Greenwood finished like a veteran when his opportunity presented itself.

Parker added Solskjaer was correct to sell Lukaku, but he said Rashford needs someone to teach him the dynamics of being a striker at Old Trafford.

"Should United have kept Lukaku? No. He could never change enough to become a United player," Parker said. "Rashford needs a mentor. Someone like Solskjaer or Mark Hughes, who could drop deep into midfield. Even someone like Eric Cantona or Teddy Sheringham would suit the squad."

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06:  Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates scoring a goal to make the score 1-3 with Mason Greenwood during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc de
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Rashford's range of abilities and his lightning pace can terrify defenders, but his weakness has always been his finishing. The player came through the United ranks as a winger, and it wasn't until he broke into the first-team squad that he began to play in the centre.

The forward is young, despite playing over 100 games for United, and there's time for him to develop into a predatory striker. He has three goals in five league matches. 

Solskjaer is likely to rotate his striking options this season, and with Greenwood already considered a good finisher, the rookie could be given his chance to lead the line at Old Trafford.   

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