Jose Mourinho has shed light on Marcus Rashford‘s role at Manchester United this season, noting that the 19-year-old serves as a potent impact substitute during the latter stages of the game.
The youngster recently dazzled supporters with a scintillating display at No.9 in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s absence during Man United’s 3-1 win at Middlesbrough.
He has made 38 appearances in all competitions this season, claiming seven goals, with 18 of those coming off the bench.
And Mourinho, when asked about Rashford’s role in his current set-up at Old Trafford, was quick to voice his enthusiasm over the youngster’s influence off the bench.
“Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs touches of the ball in order to play. (Ander) Herrera, (Michael) Carrick and (Paul) Pogba too,” he said.
“Sometimes, in the last 20 minutes, I explore other options, and I put Marcus Rashford on to go in another direction. But, generally, I try to make do with the qualities that my players have.”
The worst thing that Mourinho could have done – and indeed what Louis van Gaal threatened to do – with Rashford would have been to use him on a constant basis. This is exactly what David Moyes did with Januzaj after seeing the Belgian immediately thrive in the first team and it served as a detriment to the youngster in the long term.
Mourinho has clearly taken note of this and used Rashford pragmatically, using him in games that demand a quicker, more direct approach whilst placing the majority of the workload on the lofty shoulders of Ibrahimovic. You can tell that, with the next couple of years in mind, the 54-year-old is taking great care with using Rashford in a sensible – whilst still useful – way.