Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial learned nothing from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and are not long-term options to fill a No.9 berth at Manchester United, says Paul Scholes, with a Red Devils legend hoping Edinson Cavani can mould Mason Greenwood into a central striker.
Since parting with Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2019, those at Old Trafford have taken to experimenting in the final third of the field.
Rashford and Martial have both claimed in the past to see their respective futures operating down the middle.
A France international forward has been offered the opportunity to prove his worth in that post, with a person-best return of 23 goals recorded last season.
England star Rashford has also been used down the middle at times, but he has been nudged back to the flanks by club and country as his pace and creativity is considered to be a better fit for a wide attacking role.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sought to bolster his crop of finishers by acquiring Cavani, with the experienced Uruguayan proving that he has lost none of his sharpness in the final third despite reaching 33 years of age.
Scholes hopes the South American can impart the kind of wisdom on young hopefuls in Manchester that Ibrahimovic was unable to get across to Martial and Rashford during his 18 months in England.
The United legend told BT Sport: “We talked so many times about United not having a proper No.9.
“This lad [Cavani] is a proper No.9 but it might only be for one or two years. We had the same with Zlatan a few years ago. Are we any further down the road?”
Fellow United great Rio Ferdinand replied: “I think Cavani, he would say himself, he's a stop gap, he's here to help support these guys.
“I think they've got to be sponges and take on a lot of elements of his game. That's what I would love to see.”
Scholes responded by adding: “What my point is, exactly what I said about Zlatan with Marcus and Martial - have they developed into centre-forwards, No.9s?
“I think they both like to think they're No.9s, but to me, they're both very dangerous wide players. Did they take anything from Zlatan? I'm not sure they did.
“Now we hope Mason does take something from Cavani.
“I think Mason, out of the three of them, he's the best finisher. He's got more of a chance than the other two to really develop into a proper No.9.”
Cavani started centrally for United in their Champions League home date with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, with Rashford getting the Red Devils’ goal in a 3-1 defeat for Solskjaer’s side.