“Are you watching Jose Mourinho? That is what Marcus Rashford is capable of if you give him a bit of freedom when attacking!”
That was the general consensus amongst not just Manchester United fans, but almost everyone watching at Elland Road after Rashford phenomenally struck England ahead and sent them on their way to a comfortable 2-0 win against Costa Rica.
His 25-yard goal wasn’t the only talking point though, as he showed trickery, footwork and most importantly confidence all game long in Leeds – something we haven’t seen from him in too long for Man United.
Rashford’s Man of the Match-winning display leaves manager Gareth Southgate with a huge selection headache with just 10 days to go until England’s World Cup opener against Tunisia, who was thrilled with what he saw on Thursday night.
“What pleased me most is that Marcus enjoyed his football tonight. He played with a real swagger. He had a difficult end to the season, having to play on his own as a No 9 at times. He is still filling out – we sometimes forget how old he is.”
A very difficult end to the 2017-18 season indeed, where his disastrous performance in the FA Cup Final defeat to Chelsea in May was a clear reminder of how short of confidence he has become under Jose Mourinho at United.
Mourinho’s solid structure in his attacks has left Rashford struggling to impress, especially after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, but he looked like a completely different player for England in their final warm-up match before jetting off to the Russia.
If Rashford can continue to perform throughout his first World Cup campaign, fans will be hoping that he gets a bigger role at United next season so he can continue to develop into the world-class talent he so very much promises to be.