Alan Shearer believes Marcus Rashford should not have been introduced to the Manchester United senior as an 18-year-old back in February 2016.
The youngster was famously drafted in at the last minute against FC Midtjylland and netted a brace on debut, ahead of scoring yet another three days later on his Premier League debut against Arsenal.
He has since made 130 appearances for Man United over two and a half campaigns, scoring 33 goals in the process.
But Shearer, speaking to the Sun, claimed that Rashford’s early introduction has stymied his progression as a player at Old Trafford.
“He was a raw kid with a carefree attitude but expectations rose too quickly. He wasn’t allowed to develop at his own pace and just kept being thrust out there.”
There appears to be a strange tendency to paint Rashford’s career up to this point in a negative light. Yet if you put this to Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Gareth Southgate and even Rashford himself, they would be bemused to say the least.
Before his 21st birthday Rashford has scored against teams like Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spain, won three trophies, made over a century of appearances for his boyhood club, and fundamentally improved as a professional.
That he is not scoring as much as before is largely down to being used cautiously and often wrongly by Mourinho. It is certainly not because he isn’t ready for this level.