When asked whether Marcus Rashford needed to do more to become an elite-level finisher, Jose Mourinho was dismissive. “It’s not about work,” he responded. “It’s about natural qualities.”
The sort of “natural qualities”, presumably, associated with strikers like Robbie Fowler, Ruud van Nistelrooy, or dare we say it Mourinho’s successor at United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
As it happens, Solskjaer refutes the idea of a “natural” finisher. “I wasn’t born with it,” he said last month. “I studied finishing, I studied goals, I studied movement.”
Mourinho might dismiss Solskjaer’s claim here as false modesty, but surely even he could not deny the evidence in front of him being provided by Rashford over the last few weeks.
Sunday’s goal against Tottenham was the third consecutive Premier League game Rashford has scored in – a career first – and had all the hallmarks of a natural-born finisher. The touch to steady himself, the split-second glance at the goalkeeper, and then the arrowed finish into the side netting.