The 20-year-old forward first became involved in the summer of 2016, just months after he made his name in a Manchester United shirt by scoring two goals on his debut in the UEFA Europa League, and then doing the same just days later in the Premier League against Arsenal.
He played a bit-part role at Euro 2016, but looked one of England’s brighter players. Included in Southgate’s last squad, there are fears a recent lack of starts for Man United could condemn Rashford to staying at home for this year’s FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“If the national coach trusts him, he selects him,” Mourinho asserted. “It doesn’t matter if he plays or if he doesn’t play.”
Southgate has previously suggested, including right at the start of his national management career when he replaced Sam Allardyce, that he would only select players who are playing regular first team football.
Rashford held an astonishing record of featuring in every United game in all competitions this season until recently, when small knocks and poor form has seen him miss out on a couple of games and become more of a bench player than a starter.
“There are many examples of players who do not play in their clubs and they go to the national teams,” Mourinho continued, ridiculing Southgate’s prior claims. “It is up to Gareth Southgate.”
Rashford was hailed by Mourinho, who has shown the extent to which he trusts the Wythenshawe-born striker with starts in big games for the club ahead of other players.
“I don’t [verbally] reassure anybody, anyone,” Mourinho said, when asked if he’d given words of reassurance to Rashford.
“The main reassurance for Marcus is that he’s always selected [if available]. There is not one single match when he is not selected to start or to be on the bench.”