Marcus Rashford has claimed only three players in the world game can lay claim to being natural No 9s – and says playing on the wing has aided his game.
The Manchester United youngster – who also described himself as a ‘street football’ in this interview – has rarely started in his favoured central position this season.
The player has often been asked to fulfill a wide role, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic starting centrally, and with Antoine Griezmann expected to arrive this summer in an £84million deal, his chances of playing there again next season look limited.
But having made 45 appearances for the club in all competitions – only Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic have played more frequently – Rashford believes his game has come on this year and has paid tribute to the role the Swede in helping his progress.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Telegraph, Rashford said: “His influence on the younger players, especially, is fantastic.
“What I have learnt from him is irreplaceable.
“We want that to continue because he is making us into better players.”
He added, of playing as a winger: “Now, when I go to the left or right, I see it differently to how I pictured it last season. They are things I didn’t have naturally inside me. I didn’t feel uncomfortable in the wide role, but when something is different it takes a while to get used to it.
“For me the development has been going great all the way through. Next season I think I will have come across most situations that are going to occur.
“You look at all the strikers in the world now, I can only think of two, three who are No 9s – Kane, Lewandowski, Suarez.
“Aguero? You could play him deeper as a No 10. The qualities a striker needs now are different to what they used to be.
“When you look in the first team here and there are players who have won 15, 20 trophies, you want to try and live up to that and even exceed what they have done.”