Former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes that Jose Mourinho should opt for playing Marcus Rashford over signing Antoine Griezmann this summer.
It has been frequently reported over the season that the Portuguese was keen on securing Griezmann’s services ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
Rashford, however, has seamlessly stepped into the boots of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in recent times, producing energetic, penetrative displays against Chelsea and Anderlecht.
And Owen believes that Mourinho should opt for using the 19-year-old next season as opposed to breaking the bank for Griezmann.
“I think Griezmann is a brilliant player, obviously he is brilliant,” he said. “What Manchester United must weigh up is, do you spend that £80 million when you have Rashford?
“All of a sudden, for him, you are not sending a great message to pick someone straight ahead of him. At the moment it is perfect for Rashford, because you know you have got Zlatan ahead of him but you haven’t got Zlatan there forever.”
“Rashford needs Jose to give him the ultimate belief and say ‘right you are going to be my man, you are going to be it’,” he added. “If he doesn’t think that just yet then the last thing he needs is for Jose to buy someone who will be there for the long term.”
This is not a conundrum that Mourinho will have to face over the summer: Griezmann, after all, has made it abundantly clear, with growing levels of irritation, to a number of hopeful journalists that he will not join Man United over the summer.
Then again, one shouldn’t assume that Rashford’s place in the side would be jeopardised by the introduction of another big name up front over the summer. Zlatan’s presence this season, for instance, has not stopped the Englishman from making 47 appearances under Mourinho; only Paul Pogba has featured as much as that. Why would next season be any different if the 54-year-old brings in, say, Kylian Mbappe over the summer?