A striker can play up front in a central role only.
There are 4 types of forward
1) A striker who can play left and/or right as well as central
2) A striker who can also play as AMC
3) A striker or AMC who has Free Role set
4) Any combination of the above
To see which type you have (without using an editor) use the player compare feature and compare your forward with a goalkeeper. Look to see if they have stars against attacking midfielder and/or forward.