Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford could have limited first-team opportunities if Jose Mourinho is appointed as the successor to Louis van Gaal this summer.
Rashford has quickly burst onto the scene at Old Trafford since his debut against FC Midtjylland in February having scored seven goals in 16 appearances to become one of the most exciting young prospects in the Premier League.
Mourinho is widely reported as the prime candidate to replace van Gaal in the summer were he to go and with United finishing outside the top four, we’ve missed out on a Champions League qualifying spot for next season.
Speaking about Rashford’s future, Redknapp believes Mourinho’s arrival could have a negative impact on his development.
“My heart says Manchester United have to get Jose Mourinho in now but my head is not so sure,” he said.
“If I put myself in Marcus Rashford’s shoes I’d be worried as Jose hasn’t got a great track record of giving youth a chance.
“That said, United need someone to go toe to toe with Pep Guardiola at City and there’s no-one better for that than Jose.
“You just feel if Louis van Gaal stays, next season will be another wasted campaign for United. With him they don’t look close to winning the league.”
Mourinho’s reputation took a hit after a disappointing campaign at Chelsea and his management of youth players definitely splits opinions of fans. Van Gaal has done extremely well at guiding youngsters into the first-team since he’s taken over at Old Trafford and has given 14 young players their senior debuts since July 2014, but the dreadful football on show this campaign will be hard to look past and I can’t see him in charge next season.
Although an injury to Anthony Martial in the warm-up forced van Gaal into handing Rashford his debut, van Gaal has continuously placed his faith in the Englishman and given him plenty of opportunities in the senior side, resulting in him getting his first call-up to England less than three months after he was handed his debut.
Whether or not Mourinho would curtail his progress is hypothetical at this stage but you’d be foolish for thinking Jose’s history with youngsters wasn’t the major concern among United fans about him potentially taking over.