Marcus Rashford has heaped praise on the way in which Jose Mourinho has aided his progression at Manchester United this season.
The youngster has been a regular feature under Mourinho this season, making 45 appearances in all competitions and featuring primarily on the flank.
He has, however, established himself as the Portuguese’s main striker in the wake of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s knee injury and a series of bombastic displays against Chelsea and Anderlecht.
And the Englishman, when asked about Mourinho, was quick to dish out praise for his treatment of younger players.
“His influence on the younger players, especially, is fantastic,” Rashford said.
“We want that to continue because he is making us into better players. Now, when I go to the left or right, I see it differently to how I pictured it last season.
“They are things I didn’t have naturally inside me. I didn’t feel uncomfortable in the wide role, but when something is different it takes a while to get used to it. For me the development has been going great all the way through. Next season I think I will have come across most situations that are going to occur.”
It is no coincidence that Rashford, having not scored a Premier League goal since September, has suddenly rediscovered the raw attacking zeal that hallmarked the early stages of his senior career at Old Trafford over the last few weeks.
Nobody can say that the 19-year-old, up to this point, has endured a poor season, nor even an underwhelming one. This is just the nature of the beautiful game, especially at this age: you have to experience set-backs, dry patches and – even for Rashford – the occasional dry-patch in front of goal.
But the Englishman, as Mourinho has noted, kept working hard, giving everything in order to improve his overall approach under his new boss. He has always given 100% and, in turn, always received minutes.
And as we approach the climax of the season there are fewer players more attuned to Mourinho’s methods – to the overall fabric of Man United’s play – than Rashford. He has spent the entire season looking to learn, improve and inflict damage on opponents, and recent performances suggest that such an approach is starting to pay dividends.