15th September, 2018.
Of course,it was just going to be a matter of time for Mourinho to come out and respond directly or indirectly to the criticism surrounding the position Marcus Rashford plays in the Manchester United attack. Especially after the youngster had a successful spell with the England team in the just concluded international break.
At a news conference held on Friday, the manager came out with a statement saying that Marcus Rashford can play anywhere in a front three.
He was inevitably defending his use of the 20-year-old at Manchester United where the player is usually made to play wide as against the central striker role.
According to Mourinho,
“To be in a system of four, to be a winger, it takes him a little bit out of his positions, but the way Manchester United plays is with three attacking players,”
“When we play with three up top – because sometimes we also play with two – our three attacking players are not wingers. They’re not wide or open all the time.
“They have the freedom to come and play in between positions, and any one of the three positions is a good position for him.”
Rashford is being used centrally by England due to Gareth Southgate’s system, Mourinho further explained.
“I think his position is in relation to the way his team plays. So I think in the case of the national team, they play normally with five at the back and two players in attack. I think that’s his position,” he said.
“He cannot be a wing-back in the system of five – he cannot replace Luke Shaw, Kieran Trippier or Danny Rose at all. He must play centrally in that system.”