Marcus Rashford has reached an intriguing stage of his Manchester United career.
The 21-year-old has made eight starts in 13 appearances across all competitions this season, though he’s been allowed to see out the full 90 minutes only twice.
Jose Mourinho appears reluctant to entrust Rashford with a regular starting role and this lack of confidence appears to be rubbing off on the youngster.
The England international - who looks a different player under the management of Gareth Southgate - has registered just two goals and an assist for the Red Devils.
For a player who nearly averaged a goal every other game when he announced himself as a genuine wonderkid in 2016, it’s fair to say his progress has slowed.
Rashford has carried a tremendous amount of pressure since making his senior debut under Louis van Gaal two years ago, so it’s only natural he couldn’t keep it up.
However, while being a victim of his own standards could be contributing to his current slump, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes there’s more to it.
The Premier League legend has pointed the finger at United for preventing the striker from playing in not only his preferred position but his most effective.
IAN WRIGHT'S TAKE ON RASHFORD
“Remember when he came into everybody’s consciousness, he was playing down the centre,” Wright told the BBC Football Daily podcast.
“I think they [Manchester United] have wasted a chance in turning him into that left-sided player simply because he’s got pace and the attributes to do it.
“I believe he’s a striker - he’s a number nine. He’s got great movement, great pace.
“When he first came on the scene he was finishing chances. Now, because he’s on the wing, he’s not involved as much and not getting as many chances as he should.
“He’s looking a little bit more hesitant. I feel for him that respect.”
SHOULD RASHFORD LEAVE UNITED?
If one were to survey fans around Old Trafford when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday, it would likely indicate Wright isn’t alone in his view.
These latest comments echo his assessment of Rashford in September when he said: “Rashford’s got massive, massive, decisions to make in the next year, 18 months for me,” per Goal.
“He’s either got to leave Manchester United and play in a position where he’s going to start to be that player we all thought he was going to be when he burst onto the scene - scoring goals left, right and centre every competition.
“Or he’s going to have to stay there, whether it’s [under] Mourinho or whoever it is, and maybe playing on the left, maybe playing on the right, maybe playing up front.”
The situation appears clearer now than ever before, so it will be interesting to see which direction Rashford takes.
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