London (AFP) – Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes Marcus Rashford can be the club’s first-choice centre-forward for “years to come”, but told AFP he will have to be patient.
Rashford, 19, exploded onto the scene with United last season, scoring eight goals in his first 18 appearances and breaking into England’s Euro 2016 squad.
This season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival has seen him used either on the flanks or on the bench and he has scored only three Premier League goals, but Owen believes he is in exactly the right place.
“Wayne (Rooney) and Ibrahimovic at some point are going to retire and it’s who’s going to take the mantle on as the regular number nine?” Owen said at the launch of the Star Sixes tournament in London on Tuesday.
“As soon as those two players are no longer at the forefront for Manchester United, which isn’t going to be very long, then it’ll be really interesting to see who’s the next person to carry the can.
“One of those in line for it is Rashford. I’d say he’d be foolish to move now because he could be the number nine for Manchester United for years to come, once his turn comes.”
Owen, who spent three years at United, believes training alongside players like Ibrahimovic, Rooney and Anthony Martial will prove beneficial to Rashford in the long-run.
“It depends how you look at it,” said the former England striker.
“Unfortunately, he’s got a load of traffic in front of him. Fortunately for him, he’s at a place where he’s going to be playing and honing his skills with the best, so you’d think that that would help him.”
Owen is due to play in an England team captained by Steven Gerrard at Star Sixes, a six-a-side indoor tournament for former international players taking place at London’s O2 Arena in July.
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