Jamie Carragher has clarified his recent comments about Marcus Rashford after Jose Mourinho’s response.
Carragher courted controversy last week when he suggested that Rashford should leave Manchester United for regular first-team football as a centre-forward.
The Sky Sports pundit suggested that Everton could be a suitable place for the striker to hone his skills, with Romelu Lukaku an insurmountable obstacle at Old Trafford.
That led to Mourinho dedicating pretty much an entire press conference to defending his position on Rashford, and Carragher has now issued his own response.
“I agree with everything Jose Mourinho said, but that’s not me backing down on what I said,” he told Monday Night Football.
“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 Utd, 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. 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 Utd.
“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.”