Soccer

Thierry Henry’s Marcus Rashford advice points to Solskjaer’s Liverpool solution

Marcus Rashford has admitted taking inspiration from Thierry Henry in his quest to become a No.9.

The Manchester United striker has featured in all three positions across Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s front-three but most often been deployed on the left flank.

Despite being used as a wide man, Rashford continues to try and learn from the best having studied Arsenal icon Henry growing up.

“When I was about 16 or 17, when I first started to play in that No 9 role, Henry was someone that I looked at because he is not a traditional No 9,” Rashford said this week.

“He is someone that drifts to the left, he does things with the ball, he is just not what you would consider the traditional striker in English football.

“When I first went into the No 9 position, I knew I could never be that type of traditional No 9.

“Someone who is going to hold the ball up, win headers and do stuff like that. But I also know the qualities that I do have and what I can do as a striker.

“At the time, he was someone I looked to because I could see similarities with what I wanted my end goal to look like with the way he was playing.

“It is important for me to keep taking in that knowledge. I just try to treat my brain like a sponge really and really soak up as much information in as I can.”

Henry himself has previously discussed Rashford’s role at United and advised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that there is no reason he cannot be a central striker.

Whilst covering United for Amazon Prime Video in December 2019, Henry said of Rashford: “I always liked him. Sometimes you suffer from what you have.

“That means, he’s quick. People want him to play on the left or the right because he’s quick.

“I think he can do a hell of a job as a number nine. I always have confidence in him in front of goal.

“But I like his tenacity. He’s lively, he runs at people. People are seeing him with a different eye now and he needs to keep doing this.”

Should Marcus Rashford play as a No.9 vs Liverpool? Have your say below.

Henry’s advice remains applicable and, Rashford's comments this week suggest he is keen for a chance to show what he can do as a No.9.

The time may well be right for Solskjaer to act ahead of a huge top of the table clash with Liverpool with Anthony Martial potentially ruled out with a hamstring injury picked up at Burnely.

There are ongoing questions over where to fit Paul Pogba into the side after he impressed in a deep-lying central midfield role at Turf Moor.

Pogba, however, has excelled on the left side of United’s attack in recent weeks, shifting Rashford to the right wing in the process with Martial through the middle.

With Martial at risk of being ruled out, the time could be right for Rashford to move into the central role, thus freeing up Pogba’s space on the left.

That would enable the tried-and-tested axis of Scott McTominay and Fred to be restored against the Reds to protect the back four.

It would also provide Rashford with a perfect chance to show what he has learnt from the legendary Henry and prove the Frenchman was right all along.

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