Jamie Carragher can understand how Mourinho responded to his Rashford comments 11 months ago

Jamie Carragher can understand how Mourinho responded to his Rashford comments

Jamie Carragher has defended his stance on Marcus Rashford.

Last week, Carragher advised Rashford to move away from Old Trafford in order to develop into a more consistent goalscorer.

Rashford, who is in his fourth season as a senior Manchester United player, has been forced to be content with a place on the bench for the majority of his career to date and Carragher reckoned that a switch to Everton would benefit him.

The comments seemed to have irked United manager Jose Mourinho, who brought a list of statistics to his pre-match press conference on Friday to defend his usage of Rashford.

But Carragher has now taken the opportunity to clarify what he meant with his advice for the 20-year-old. On Monday Night Football, he said:

"I agree with everything Jose Mourinho said, but that's not me backing down on what I said.

"I'm not talking about how many minutes Rashford gets. The minutes and appearances he gets for a 20-year-old lad at a club the size of Man United, you look around the world and you think only maybe Kylian Mbappe gets similar. He is getting great minutes.

"What I don't like - and maybe Mourinho or others felt it - is the thought I just threw away a lazy comment."

"All of the stats Jose has listed are spot on," Carragher added. "But another stat that is spot on is that Rashford has only started 12 times as a centre-forward in the Premier League. He burst onto the scene as a striker, and said he wants to be a striker.

"He may have changed, he might be happy playing on the left or on the right and staying at Man United.

"But the whole point is, that is the most difficult position to come through at a top-six club. Because at all our top-six clubs now, the manager has to believe he has a centre-forward who can win him the Premier League or Champions League.

"If you go through the teams; Liverpool have got Brazil's centre-forward in Roberto Firmino, Man City have got one of the greatest centre-forwards of all time, Argentina's centre-forward in Sergio Aguero, Chelsea have two centre-forwards that people have question marks over - one of them is a World Cup winner in Olivier Giroud and the other, Alvaro Morata, played for Real Madrid and Juventus, and also plays for Spain.

"Arsenal have got two £50m strikers - Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - and United have Romelu Lukaku.

"I'm not saying Jose Mourinho is wrong and should play Rashford ahead of Lukaku - I'm not saying that, because he shouldn't, Lukaku is better than him - but if that lad wants to play centre-forward, how does he do that?

"My point was, he may have to move away, and then maybe come back, the same as Lukaku did."

Rashford has yet to find the net this season and will rely on Mourinho's rotation in cup competitions to get into his starting XI.

But Carragher has urged the youngster to avoid spending his career as a squad player and used the career trajectory of a former United striker as an example of what Rashford should not do.

"I like Danny Welbeck as a player and I don't want to come across disrespectful, but Marcus Rashford does not want to become Danny Welbeck," Carragher added.

"What I mean by that is this: he came through United as a forward, and then he was used on the left and the right, and was delighted to get the minutes. Then he ends up becoming a squad player, never nailing down a centre-forward position.

"He moves to Arsenal, the same thing has happened, he's still a squad player. And it's the same for England. That's what you don't want."