When Mourinho took over at Old Trafford in July 2016, there were significant worries for the development of Marcus Rashford, who had just broken into the side the previous February under Louis van Gaal and shone before earning a place in England’s squad for the 2016 European Championships in France.
Yet, since, Rashford has played more than any other player at United. This season, he has featured in every single United game in all competitions, an astonishing record.
“The story that Marcus will not get minutes and matches is really old because he’s a very important player for us,” Mourinho said, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp having claimed recently that Rashford would have to move on to find regular first team football for his development, a completely unfounded suggestion.
“The kid is having a hell of an experience at every level so an amazing future waits for him and being surrounded by these players can only help him.”
“His story is quite interesting because he started playing with Mr. Van Gaal when the team was really in trouble to have options. Then the monster that kills the little kids arrived. But he has played every game since then.”
Mourinho, as creative as ever using ‘the monster that kills the little kids, to describe himself, is correct. Rashford’s development is going well. Perhaps because he burst onto the scene so extraordinarily with two goals on his debut against FC Midtjylland and then two further goals on his Premier League debut just days later against Arsenal as well as the winner in the Manchester derby and a goal on his England debut, expectations are high.
That’s acceptable, but people must realise that while his goalscoring form may have dipped, he’s playing on the left of attack rather than up front. He’s playing every week, and very little can be better for his development.