Yesterday, reports surfaced based on England manager Sam Allardyce’s quotes, stating that he couldn’t select Marcus Rashford for the England squad unless he got playing time for Manchester United. However, now, more reports are surfacing that Jose Mourinho plans to give Rashford sufficient playing time to cement his place playing for England.
Rashford, developing faster than ever with the first team, is still struggling to make the Starting XI after the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. However, Mourinho has stated on multiple occasions that he plans to heavily rotate his squad, meaning these reports are sensible and likely true. Mourinho probably doesn’t focus on Rashford’s playing time in the context of the England squad, but, more importantly, his development as a player and the rotation of Ibrahimovic, who is arguably United’s best player. This is why, as I have stated in countless other articles, Rashford is an important player for United this season.
Rashford, outside Ibrahimovic, is the only natural striker in United’s squad right now, and his presence will allow the likes of Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and Memphis the luxury of staying in their best positions. Therefore, it seems only logical that he will play a key role in the squad this season, or at least it does to those who take the time to look at United’s options before coming to rash conclusions (no pun intended).
Many people have used Ibrahimovic’s signing and, recently, Allardyce’s quotes, to criticize Mourinho’s development of youth, which is the most senseless claim against United for a long time. In fact, it says enough that Rashford is Mourinho’s second choice, and, should Ibrahimovic go down, the Wythenshawe teenager is expected to pick up where the mercurial Swede left off.
Rashford was selected to play for England U21’s recently, meaning he won’t be in the senior squad this time, but United fans can be confident that Rashford will be in the squad if he deserves it. Allardyce acknowledged that Rashford has a massive future ahead of him regardless of whether or not he is playing for England right now. His inclusion in the u21s is supposed to be reflective of that, allowing Rashford to get international experience without fulfilling Allardyce’s criteria for squad selections. This is a sign that Rashford should be a part of England’s plans in the future.
To those who don’t believe that Mourinho develops youth, consider- the likes of Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and Jesse Lingard are staples in United’s first team squad, with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Adnan Januzaj, and Andreas Pereira being lined up for the future. In addition, Joe Riley is not playing for the U23’s so far this season, and he has been training with the first team. Yes, Mourinho develops youth, yes, Rashford will get his chance, and yes, he will be able to make the England squad if he deserves to be there. His stock is incredibly high, and it wouldn’t be surprising just to see it calm down before he develops into a world class player- often people jump to conclusions too quickly with young players- give him, Allardyce and Mourinho time to prove he will get what he deserves.