Jose Mourinho's arrival at Manchester United was well received, all apart from the fact that academy graduate Marcus Rashford's chances in the first team looked to have been hampered slightly.
The 18-year-old had a debut campaign to remember, as former boss Louis Van Gaal gave him his debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League. But Mourinho has not exactly given young players much of a chance in the past, particularly at Chelsea.
And with the acquisition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it seemed the United youngster was to fall even further down the pecking order. However, a late and decisive goal away to Hull City last weekend was the perfect way for Rashford to stake his claim for a starting role at United.
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Fighting for his place in the starting line-up, with Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney ahead of the forward, it has been a daunting task for the 18-year-old. But a challenge he has faced head on.
Rashford has also subsequently been dropped from England's senior set up, and set to feature for the Under-21s for the time being. However, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes the youngster's current form will only force him into contention for a starting role for the Red Devils, and a return to the England senior squad, sooner rather than later.
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"When you see someone like Marcus Rashford come on for United and score, he’s somebody that, for me, is ready to go." said Wright, following England's last-gasp 1-0 win over Slovakia.
"I think it’s brilliant what he is doing. He’s not saying too much, he wants to play, he comes on, he scores a goal. He’s forcing the issue for Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho must consider Rashford
"If he wasn’t getting the chance to actually come on, score a goal, and then Jose Mourinho has to have him in his thoughts, then we’ve got a problem.
"But I believe half way (through) this season, if he carries on, he’ll end up most probably playing with Ibra (Zlatan Ibrahimovic). He’s ready to go, they can’t hold him back."
Rooney role benefits teenagers
With Rooney having dropped to a deeper number ten role, the chance for Rashford to step up and become a regular starter up front is a possibility. Although, Martial is another youngster fighting for a leading role in Mourinho's attack.
However, it has been a confident start to Rashford's first full season in the Manchester United senior set up and, despite the challenges he will face in trying to become a regular feature week-in week-out for Mourinho's team, the young Englishman is showing no signs as to why he can't regain his place in the England squad sooner rather than later.
Could Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic perform well up front together for Manchester United? Give your opinion in the comment box below.
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