Former Liverpool and Manchester United hitman Michael Owen has cast doubt on Marcus Rashford's capabilities in front of goal, suggesting that the striker lacks the "killer instinct" to strike on a regular basis for his club.
Rashford, 21, is considered one of England's premier young talents after bursting onto the scene at Old Trafford as a teenager.
The exits of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to Inter, moreover, have opened the door for Rashford to rack up more regular playing time up front, having moved across the attack during his time in the United first team.
Rashford began the season in scintillating fashion, netting twice in a 4-0 rout of Chelsea in August.
But he has failed to hit the target since, and Owen doubts he is cut out to be a prolific scorer.
“I don’t think scoring goals is what he goes to bed craving,” said Owen on Friday at the launch of his autobiography, Reboot.
“I think it is overall performance, chipping in with goals, assists, everything. He is a better all-round player than me.
"He has a great touch and all round skill that I never had, but he hasn’t got the killer instinct that I had. I was just obsessed. Players like Robbie Fowler, Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane - these people who are obsessed with goals. I don’t think he is obsessed with goals.”
Owen knows a thing or two about scoring goals, having hit over 200 in a professional career curtailed by serious injury problems and a further 40 for England, a tally only four players in history have bested.
And he believes that ability is something which is almost impossible to teach.
“You can definitely improve your finishing, but I don’t think you can improve your instinct and I don’t think you can improve the way you are made,” he added.
“I know Rashford was never a centre-forward as a kid. He always wanted to play wide or as a number ten and I know his coaches at the Man Utd academy were always encouraging him to follow the ball in, get tap-ins and get into the box, be a goalscorer.
“It was never really his desire. He was always outside the box, great touch and everything else. He will always score a decent number of goals and he is an absolutely wonderfully talented player, but when you mention Aguero, that cold-blooded constantly thinking about goals, I don’t think [he has that].”
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