Injuries to Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney left Man United short of striking options and it looks like Rashford has followed in the recent footsteps of Axel Tuanzebe and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson into the senior squad.
United’s U21s striker Ashley Fletcher also trained with the squad on Friday but van Gaal gave Rashford the nod, despite him being two years younger and that’s indicative of the great season he is having.
With nine goals in 13 starts, Rashford’s progress has clearly not gone unnoticed and it’s a big step in the right direction for him to be named on the bench against Watford.
Who knows, if United are in need of a goal late in the game against Watford, there is every chance Rashford could make his debut. After all, van Gaal wouldn’t put him on the bench if he didn’t think he was capable of being called upon if needed.
There is an argument to be said that van Gaal’s use of the youth players is merely a direct consequence of having a smaller squad but if that brings through more youngsters who end up grabbing there opportunity with both hands, just like Jesse Lingard has, then so be it.
Sometimes solutions are at your own door when you don’t even realise and although United’s squad is weak in certain areas, maybe we’ve already got the players in our own academy who are ready to step in. As Sir Matt Busby always said: if they’re good enough, they’re old enough.