After what has been an incredible six months for Marcus Rashford, the young Mancunian faces a battle for first team action under Jose Mourinho, which is something new England boss Sam Allardyce is concerned about. Coming in as a late replacement for Anthony Martial in the Europa League against Midtjylland he made an instant impact scoring twice in the 5-1 win. This propelled him into the starting XI and ended up playing 11 league games, scoring five goals in the process. His dynamic pace and skill lead to him being a surprise call-up to the England squad for the European Championships in France with the then England Manager, Roy Hodgson, saying after the team’s victory against Wales:
“Rashford has been very good in training, very lively. What he has got is an incredibly good technique for a very young player. He’s got that pace and athleticism, which are pretty good things to have when you are 18. He’s not scared at all.”
However, the arrival of the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho has thrown the playing time of Rashford into doubt. Mourinho will have one goal and one goal alone, to win the league at all costs and for this, it’s likely that the youngster will spend more time on the bench this season. One of the many people concerned by the potentially stunted development of Rashford is new England boss Sam Allardyce, according to the Mirror, who says he wishes to see Rashford playing rather than sitting on the bench.
“I want to see Rashford playing, but he might not play in the position he played in last year. A lot of it is down to the lad himself. He is a talent and, if Jose sees that talent emerge like it did last season, then, hopefully, he picks him. But Jose’s job is to win the title with Manchester United. He has brought some terrific players, particularly Ibrahimovic, a big frontman. And it’s not easy to put those youngsters in as a Premier League manager because of the cost of failure.
“Look at Rashford’s journey. It’s fair to say that, if Anthony Martial hadn’t got injured in a warm-up last season, then we wouldn’t have seen the young man playing and going on to make a couple of substitute appearances for England. It is encouraging to think that kind of talent is lurking and we have to see what we can do to allow that talent to come through. Rashford got thrown in at the deep end because of an injury crisis at Manchester United and he obviously came out on top.
In the latest and last pre-season game against Galatasaray, Rashford started on the bench and came on at half-time for the debuting Ibrahimovic, who featured in a line-up with what looks to be the likely front four along with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Wayne Rooney, and Anthony Martial. When Rashford came on he certainly impressed, winning a penalty after an incredible run and providing a huge injection of pace. Chances are we will see what Mourinho’s planned starting XI will be in the Community Shield game against Leicester on Sunday 7th August, his first competitive game in charge. Rashford will be keen to impress against Leicester and his playing time may be an indicator of his involvement in the season to come.