Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has reiterated his belief that Marcus Rashford should consider leaving Manchester United, but insisted on his previous comments about the England forward were misinterpreted by Jose Mourinho.
In borderline Rafa Benitez fashion, Mourinho recently defended his treatment of Rashford by listing an array of stats about the 20-year-old’s minutes under his tenure.
Carragher appeared on Monday Night Football where he claimed that he agreed with Mourinho’s comments, but sees another reason why Rashford would be better suited elsewhere.
“I agree with everything Jose Mourinho said, but that’s not me backing down on what I said. I’m not talking about how many minutes Marcus Rashford gets. The minutes Marcus Rashford gets for a 20-year-old at a club the size of Manchester United.
“‘You look around the world, maybe only Kylian Mbappe [can compare]. He is getting great minutes and appearance stats. What I don’t like is, whether Jose or others thought it, [the idea] I threw away a lazy comment. I think for 12 months people have said Jose Mourinho doesn’t give kids a chance, Rashford must leave – I think that’s lazy punditry. ‘The reason I said [what I said was] I was talking more [from the point of view] as a centre-forward. All those stats Jose used are spot on, but another one that is spot on is that since Jose’s come [in] he’s only started 12 times as a centre-forward in the Premier League. He burst onto the scene as a striker, he says he wants to play as a striker.
“He may have changed, he may be happy playing on the left, he might be happy playing on the right – I don’t really care. But my whole point was that is the most difficult position to come through at, at a top six club. Because all our top six clubs now, the manager has to believe he has a centre-forward that can win him the Premier League and the Champions League.
“Liverpool have got Brazil’s centre-forward, Man City have got one of the greatest Argentinian centre-forwards of all time, Chelsea have got two strikers who have question marks against them – one’s a World Cup winner, the other one’s played for Real Madrid and Juventus – Arsenal have got two £50million strikers and United have got Lukaku.
“I’m not saying Jose Mourinho’s wrong and he should play him, he shouldn’t, Lukaku’s better than him. But if that lad wants to play centre-forward, how does he do that? My point was he has to move away and then maybe come back, the same as what Lukaku did.”
Perhaps Mourinho is looking out for Rashford by helping him develop in another role. A role that he will get more minutes in playing at United, with the realisation Lukaku is a superior centre-forward and he’s going nowhere.