Paul Parker does not believe Marcus Rashford has done enough to show Manchester United that they can rely on him to be their main striker.
There has been greater responsibility placed on Rashford to be United’s main goalscoring threat following the sale of Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial’s injury, with the England man again leading the line against Astana on Thursday night.
He did, however, squander several excellent chances in the 1-0 win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, with United struggling to break down the Kazakh defence.
Given the current situation and lack of options, Solskjaer only has 17-year-old forward Mason Greenwood as an alternative – the teenager grabbing the winner against Astana to score his first senior goal.
United were linked to Juventus forwards Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic in the days leading up to the end of the transfer window, but no move materialised and Parker thinks they’ve been left short up front.
“The hardest thing about United is trying to work out the direction they want to play,” he told Goal .
“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.”
Parker is not convinced by Rashford’s approach play, but he also has doubts about his ruthlessness in front of goal. The former United defender asked: “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.”
Parker is sure that United have made the right decision with their summer clearout, though.
And he believes that the man in the managerial hotseat at Old Trafford is an example of the type of striker that the club needs, both to lead the line and help to develop Rashford’s game further.
“Should United have kept Lukaku? No. He could never change enough to become a United player.
“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.”