Marcus Rashford Manchester United 2020-21Getty

'Rashford is not yet a world-class striker' - Saha claims Man Utd star is not 'deadly' enough in front of goal

Marcus Rashford is not yet a "world-class striker", according to Louis Saha, who has claimed that the Manchester United star is not "deadly" enough in front of goal.

Rashford has enjoyed a rapid rise to stardom since bursting onto the senior stage at Old Trafford as a teenager back in 2016.

The England international has scored 77 goals in his first 232 appearances across all competitions for United, while also providing 45 assists, getting his hands on three major trophies in the process.

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The 2019-20 campaign marked Rashford's most prolific yet in the famous red shirt as his 22 goals helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side secure a third-place Premier League finish and three semi-final berths.

However, the 23-year-old only has three to his name from 10 Premier League outings at the start of the new campaign, and Saha says he still has to work on a few things in order to reach the same level as club legends Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Marcus Rashford is a world-class forward but he isn’t yet a world-class striker," the former United frontman told Genting Bet. "When you look around the world, there aren’t many players playing for big clubs such as Manchester United and perform on a big stage with his country.

"But Rashford can do whatever you want from him, he can defend when you need to and he can actually attack and create his own goals, score free kicks. He's a top forward.

"A striker is a different animal, a striker is someone who is really eager and you can see in his face that they want to score all the time and will focus on how to maximise the position where he can score. They won’t try to find that kind of ‘nice look’, a striker is just deadly. 

"This is what I learnt from playing with the likes of Van Nistelrooy and David Trezeguet. At this moment, Marcus Rashford isn’t a world-class striker, but he’s a world-class forward.

"Rashford still has the youth and the potential to do it - as Cristiano started in a certain position and now is the best striker you can ever imagine. Being a striker is an attitude and they obsess about scoring goals, they’re going to shout at any player that doesn't give them the ball and you shout to yourself because you miss a goal."

Rashford is still outscoring his usual strike partner Anthony Martial though, with the Frenchman currently enduring a barren run of form which has seen him draw blanks in all six of his top-flight appearances.

Saha says Martial has already proved his quality, but admits he must improve his output and start delivering the goods on a more consistent basis to fulfil his true potential.

"Anthony Martial has reached a level of skill and I didn’t see it coming," he added. "He’s really gifted in many areas and being a striker is one but it’s about consistency - you have to score and you have to have that desire to score all the time. 

"You’ll have moments where you don't do it but it doesn't matter because you're still making the same runs. I think that he has definitely shown quality but obviously we always want more from a player like him."