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Rashford stakes claim for central role

Premier League

BURTON-ON-TRENT, England – Manchester United and England prodigy Marcus Rashford has reiterated that he sees his long-term playing future at centre-forward.

Rashford, 19, was mainly used in wide positions by United manager Jose Mourinho this season, before an injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw him moved to a central role, where he thrived.

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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates a goal. Photo: Reuters / Andrew Yates

United are looking to sign a new striker and have been linked with Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata, but Rashford wants to make the position his own.

"Of course it's to play down the middle," he said when asked about his preference. "But playing on the left creates a different picture in your mind. It's what's needed to play down the middle.

"It's all a process and if I keep buying into it and learning from it, hopefully everything will come through when I'm playing in the number nine position."

Mourinho is not renowned for trusting young players, but Rashford believes the faith the Portuguese has shown in him speaks for itself.

"A lot of people have a lot of opinions about him, but what he's done is clear," Rashford told reporters at England's St George's Park training base in Burton-on-Trent.

"It's not all what people say. I've obviously played a lot of games under him this year and I've earned his trust, which is important for me and it's got me to where I am now."

After stepping into Ibrahimovic's shoes, Rashford scored crucial goals against Chelsea, Anderlecht and Celta Vigo and helped United to glory in the Europa League.

Though he does not turn 20 until October 31, he says he took the new responsibility in his stride.

"I didn't learn much about myself because I knew how I would react to certain situations," said Rashford, who hopes to start in England's World Cup qualifier against Scotland on Saturday.

"It's about what other people have learnt about me."

He added: "You have only seen me playing for one year and there's still a lot of things you don't know about me and what you've got to learn, and what I've got to learn about myself.

"It's all just a start."

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