Marcus Rashford was on form today. The Manchester United forward has become somewhat a maligned figure in recent months, with many questioning the club's decision to make him their main goalscoring option.
Those concerns were not unfounded, especially when you consider he has yet to hit more than ten Premier League goals in a season. There are also questions around his best position, with Rashford splitting time between a central role and playing out wide.
Still, his performance today will offer plenty of encouragement. His movement was exceptional, especially for his goal. He worked hard and it was the type of performance United fans will want to see more of.
Despite this, questions around his future persisted in the Sky Sports studio post-match. Gary Neville felt that Rashford had proved many of his doubters wrong today, but Graeme Souness said he isn't ready for the role he has been given:
Neville:People were questioning him in a big way, saying he was not the answer and they needed to sign another striker. They might still need to, but at least he's showing them what he is.
Souness: He might be one day, but he's not the finished article. He hasn't scored enough goals in the Premier League to say Man United can hang their hat on him being the one to take them back to where they want. He needs help...
He's being asked to be the main man. It's the hardest position on a football pitch, he is not ready to fulfil that role right now...
Neville: You look at Liverpool's front three. You look at Firmino when he first came to England, Salah when he was first at Chelsea, Mane at Southampton.
You never saw that side of them, sometimes players take time to develop into what they're going become Manchester United have a choice to make.
Souness: Manchester United only have one choice to make, and that's who they going to buy. You're not going to tell me that United over the next three years are going to settle for James and Rashford as their main strikers.
Jose Mourinho knows Rashford better than most. He coached him for two-and-a-half years, a time when the player didn't really make the strides many had assumed he would.
He feels that Rashford will never be a top class goalscorer, and needs to be accommodated in some other way.
I don't think he is a nine that can play against low blocks. I don't think he is a nine that can play as a target man. He is a man of movement, a man that needs space and then attack defenders with the ball at his feet.
I don't think he's a pure nine, so it depends on the model of play. If Ole always wants to play the way he did today, he is the perfect striker for him...
At 21-years old he has more matches in the Premier League, in the national team, in the World Cup, the Euros, the Champions League, Europa League than some players who are 24 or 25.
The point is not his age, the points are his qualities. For me he is a potentially a very good player in some models of play and positions.
As a target man or a number nine, I don't think he has the 30 goals that a top striker has.
For me, he can't get better as a number nine. He can get better playing the way they did today, playing from the left side.
Roy Keane shared a similar sentiment, admitting that Rashford should not be the main striker at Manchester United. Instead, he wants the club to go out and sign a proven goalscorer by the name of Harry Kane.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 20, 2019