Former Arsenal player Theo Walcott never reached his full potential and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been warned he could end up like Walcott if he fails to make up his mind over his best position.
“If Rashford isn’t careful then, sooner rather than later, he is going to find himself cast as the modern-day Theo Walcott,” Stan Collymore told the Mirror. “Someone who isn’t seen as an out-and-out winger or straight-up No.9 but a Jack of all trades as a forward and master of none.
“That’s why now is the perfect time for him to decide whether that’s the way he wants to go. Or would he rather be a player who lives or dies as a No.9 If he’s happy to play anywhere if it means being an England regular then that’s his call.
“But if that is the case over the next five to 10 years then I worry about the negative impact such a decision could have on his club career because of the message it sends.
“There’s no way Rashford can toddle off with England every few months and play out wide and then go back to Old Trafford and play like Ruud van Nistelrooy,” he continued. “So there’s a potential problem brewing for him.
“And at 21, maybe now is the time for him to say, ‘You know what, I might not get into the next three squads if I say I’ll only play as a No.9. But if that is the case then I’ll go back to Carrington during international breaks and say, ‘Gaffer, teach me everything I need to know about operating within the width of the 18-yard box and playing with my back to goal’.”