Wing role will make Rashford the 'full package' for Man Utd - Cole

Marcus Rashford Manchester United 2017
Getty Images
The England international sees himself as a central striker in the future, but is being backed to benefit from being asked to play out wide for now

Marcus Rashford will become “the full package” for Manchester United after being forced to learn on the wing, says Andy Cole.

The 20-year-old forward sees himself as a central striker in the future, having worked his way through the Old Trafford academy system in that position.

Rashford 17/10 to score v Basel

He also burst onto the scene under Louis van Gaal operating down the middle, but has since faced fierce competition from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku.

Jose Mourinho has continued to use him in a wider support role this season, but former United striker Cole believes the England international will be better for the experience.

The 1999 Treble winner told ESPN FC: "I look at him at the moment, he's scoring goals and he's bringing a lot more things to his game.

"I think he will end up as a centre-forward. I just think at the moment having Lukaku in the team and obviously Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] coming back as well, I think it's good.

"He will learn off the left because when he becomes a centre-forward he will have the full package."

Andy Cole Marcus Rashford Manchester United full package

Pressed on how far Rashford could go in the game, Cole added: "That's up to him. I get asked this all the time and I think that's down to the individual and how far they want to go.

"You look at Rashford at the moment and he wants to extend himself to be as good as he can be, which is very, very good.

"In football, when you are young and you keep learning and you want to aspire to be the best, you never know where he can end up."

Rashford’s form and standing in the eyes of Mourinho is currently forcing Anthony Martial to be patient in his pursuit of regular minutes, with the Frenchman having made more of an impact off the bench this season than from the start.

He has expressed a desire to see more game time and Cole feels that he, like Rashford, will prove to be an important figure for United in the long run. 

Article continues below

"I'm hoping he [Martial] is going to be there a long time,” said a man who netted 121 times for the Red Devils.

“If you look at the talent that kid's got, it's absolutely frightening. He's got great feet, scores goals and creates goals.

"He's had his ups and downs with the manager already but I think he just wants the arm around the shoulder - a bit of loving and you'll definitely get the best out of him."