Marcus Rashford banged in his third goal in as many games for England to inspire them to a pulsating 3-2 victory against Spain on Monday night. The 20-year-old forward continues to dazzle with his pace and finishing ability on the international stage, and Man Utd really have a future superstar on their hands. Competition for places is ferocious in the Red Devils’ attack, with Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata in the mix. But it could be time for Jose Mourinho to put his faith in Rashford as he has the raw talent to become the next club legend.
The Portuguese manager is heading into a potential make or break game against former club Chelsea at the weekend. He remains the favourite to be the first Premiership manager to leave his post this season after a disastrous start to the campaign. A 3-2 comeback victory over Newcastle last time out bought Mourinho a reprieve, but you get the sense that one man result would see him ousted. At Bookmaker they offer odds on the game and they will tell you that Man Utd are huge underdogs against the Blues, check their review before placing some action. Mourinho needs some magic, and Rashford could be the man to provide it.
As ever, Mourinho is facing a pleasant selection headache. In defence he seems short of options, such is his lack of faith in Eric Bailly, but going forwards he has an embarrassment of riches to choose from. He went with Rashford and Martial either side of Lukaku against Newcastle, and Man Utd struggled. But Mata came off the bench and whipped in a superb free-kick, before Martial equalised and another substitute, Sanchez, banged in a last-gasp winner. The temptation will be to restore Sanchez and perhaps Mata to the starting line-up.
But Rashford should be surging with confidence after his strong performance against Spain. Sergio Ramos and co are the clear favourites to win the UEFA Nations League, well ahead of France with the bookmakers, but the Three Lions embarrassed them on their home turf. Rashford and Raheem Sterling were sensational alongside Kane, and Rashford could thrive similarly next to Lukaku against Chelsea. The hulking Belgian will have a point to prove against his former club, and Mourinho is under pressure to play Sanchez in support of him.
But Rashford has been a lot more consistent and dangerous than Sanchez of late. He has delivered plenty of match-winning performances for Man Utd already in his fledgling career and he has the ability to terrorise the Chelsea defence on Saturday. The Blues have started the season in brilliant form under new manager Maurizio Sarri, and they will provide formidable opposition. They will be further buoyed by their FA Cup final win against Man Utd in May, and they are yet to lose a game this season, with nine wins and two draws in all competitions. Eden Hazard has been absolutely devastating going forwards, and a midfield triumvirate of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic is outrageously talented.
Mourinho could not have been handed a much tougher game as he fights for his job. But that also makes it a great opportunity to win over his critics and make a statement to the rest of the league that Man Utd are still a force to be reckoned with. Antonio Rudiger is a doubt for Chelsea, and they do not have the quickest defence, so Rashford’s searing pace could be a great weapon as Mourinho plots how to overwhelm his former team. His potential is huge and Mourinho could just rebuild his reputation by unleashing it.