Danny Mills has explained why Marcus Rashford doesn’t start on a regular basis at Manchester United, noting that the youngster’s mazy influence can be best used from the bench against tiring opposition.
The youngster was introduced from the bench during England’s 2-0 win over Lithuania on Sunday with 30 minutes left and immediately injected life into a wilting attacking display with a series of powerful runs down the left hand side.
Rashford’s mesmerising influence created a platform for Jamie Vardy, who came on at the same as the 19-year-old, to net England’s second just five minutes after being introduced.
And Mills, speaking after the game, noted that using Rashford in such a way has worked wonders for both Man United and England this season.
“A lot of speculation and talk will be about why doesn’t he start more often for Manchester United,” he said.
“Why didn’t Gareth Southgate start him for England? Sometimes players, when they are young, are better as impact players.
“They come on and when the teams get a bit tired, there’s a bit more space, there’s a bit more freedom and they can run at people.
“He did it in the Iceland game at the Euros where he got three-and-a-half minutes to show what he could do. Gareth brought him on after 58 minutes against Lithuania and he looked lively and created things.
“That’s what we want to see – and he’s still only 19 years old.”
Rashford completed the most dribbles (7) and created the most chances (7) on Sunday, despite playing just 30 minutes. Read that stat again; it deserves admiration. The youngster walked into a World Cup qualifier at Wembley and immediately made the game his own. He made the likes of Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raheem Sterling look average at best, such was his incessantly powerful approach on the left hand side.
It felt like Lithuania – after an hour of successfully maintaining a solid defensive shape – couldn’t get near him; every run made by Rashford seamlessly tore through a back four that had hitherto thwarted the majority of England’s advances.
Even the staunchest anti-United bystander would have to admit that the youngster brought a level of potency that nobody on the pitch even came close to mirroring.