EPL

Rashford 'lacks killer instinct' to lead Man Utd line, says Shearer

By Sports Desk December 28, 2022

Marcus Rashford "lacks the killer instinct" to lead Manchester United's attack, according to the Premier League's all-time record goalscorer Alan Shearer.

England international Rashford made it two goals in two games since returning to club action following the World Cup break with his strike against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old now has 10 goals in 21 games this season, double his tally from the whole of last season in 32 matches and twice as many as any United team-mate this term.

Rashford is on course for his best scoring campaign, but Shearer has urged Erik ten Hag to continue fielding the versatile attacker out wide and bring in a new out-and-out striker.

"I think Marcus enjoys it more, he looks better certainly in the position [on the left] we saw tonight," Newcastle United great Shearer told Amazon Prime.

"He's been given a little bit of freedom – if he wants to go down the middle at times, he can.

"But when he's got all that space to run into from out wide, he's a better player in doing that and he's very, very good at doing that.

"In terms of him being a centre-forward, he lacks the killer instinct, that natural ability to think 'yeah, I'm going to get in there, I'm going to get the two or three yarders'.

"But there's no doubting his ability – he's a fantastic player."

Rashford has five goals in 15 Premier League outings this term, which is already one more than last season and 12 off his career-best tally in the 2019-20 campaign.

Speaking after the 3-0 win over Forest, which moved United within a point of the top four with a game in hand, Rashford declared he is aiming to better his previous high.

However, fellow former striker and now pundit Michael Owen agrees with Shearer's assessment that United still need another new striker in the January window.

"I do feel that Rashford is better on the left, he will contribute a decent number of goals each year," Owen said.

"But he's not going to be the Ruud van Nistelrooy, the Robin van Persie, the Wayne Rooney who scores 30-plus goals a season.

"Obviously he is a huge asset to this football club, gives them something different, gives them pace, gives them directness."

United have scored 23 goals in 15 Premier League games this season at an average of 1.53 per match, which is only the 11th best return in the division.

Despite easing to victory against Forest, Ten Hag admitted after the match he was not entirely satisfied with his side's finishing and reiterated the need for a new striker.

"It's what I said in the dressing room, we have to score more goals," he said.

"We created so many chances and it takes us until just before the end to score the third goal. We need to finish this game in an earlier moment.

"We are looking for offensive players, we are looking for a striker. It would be good because we have games coming, so many, every third day, and it's tough."

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