Marcus Rashford hasn’t had too many opportunities to express himself this season at Manchester United.
The 19-year-old has had to play second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the majority of the campaign but with the Swede ruled out for the remainder of the season, Rashford is starting to stamp his authority on the team.
He’s been given regular first-team starts and his confidence is growing with every passing week.
That much can be seen with the striker taking almost every set piece recently.
Rashford possesses a brilliant delivery and is a real danger from dead-ball situations. So much so that Mourinho has obviously given him the nod to take free-kicks ahead of the world’s most expensive player in Paul Pogba.
And when he won a free-kick 25-yards out for United against Celta Vigo in their Europa League semi-final, there was only one man taking it.
In truth, it was better suited for a left-footed player to swing the ball in and Daley Blind was keen. Pogba himself also wondered over but soon made his way into the box.
But Rashford took responsibility and whipped the ball brilliantly into the far corner to give United a fantastic chance to reach the Europa League final.
Pogba reveals what Rashford said
And, after the match, the Frenchman has revealed what Rashford said to him before that free-kick.
“On the pitch, we don't look at the age. He's been doing great this season and we trust him,” Pogba said.
“When he took that free-kick, he told me he was going to score and he put it in so that's the most important thing.”
It’s that sort of confidence that will see Rashford reach the very top in football.
While Rashford was confident of scoring the free-kick, it certainly didn’t catch Mourinho by surprise either.
That’s because the striker is often practicing his technique after training and it seems that practice does make perfect.
Mourinho on Rashford
“Marcus Rashford is a 19-year-old kid who is in love with football,” said Mourinho. “He stays after training for half-an-hour to practice taking free-kicks and waits for the opportunity.
“He trains a lot, he practices, he enjoys the extra work. It’s a great free-kick because the ball moves really really fast, the goalkeeper makes a little movement, and I think with the speed of the ball it’s impossible to save.
“He works and works and works, so we can forget his age.”
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