José Mourinho hasn’t made many mistakes since taking over at Manchester United. He managed to provide a 100% start to the season until it was brought to an end by Manchester City on Saturday. The 2-1 defeat, though, showcased some of the disadvantages and weaknesses in the squad. Mourinho later admitted that the result helped him to gain knowledge about players who may not contribute much in the rest of the campaign. Even though one game is not a proper tool to judge a player, there were some extremely poor performances from the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard.
Mourinho has always faced a criticism for not developing the young talents. This may not be entirely true, but the Portuguese does have 49 players under his belt, who have gone on to become stars under his management. He has kept a lot of faith in Anthony Martial, who is once again a big-money signing and not someone who came through the ranks at United, at the start of the campaign. At the same time, Marcus Rashford has struggled with very little first-team opportunities. If the opening four games of the league campaign is anything to go by, it should be the other way round.
Rashford has been a breath of fresh air whenever he has been on the pitch. Yet, it is rather surprising to see that Mourinho does not rate him – or at least up until now. Following the Manchester derby, United shift their focus to the Europa League with an away match against Feyenoord. Mourinho has already confirmed that Rashford will be one of the starters and he is likely to do so ahead of Martial. United knew that they were getting a rough diamond when they paid almost £40 million for Martial last season. He is yet to score in 236 minutes of action this season, although playing on the wings has not helped him in this aspect.
Even Rashford has been utilised in a wide area, but the 18-year-old has shown no fear. This attribute has helped him take on opposition defenders even when the going gets tough and make more shots per game than Martial (1.5 vs 2.5).
Mourinho may very well keep his word and start with Rashford against Feyenoord, but the Portuguese has always shown a tendency to go for the experienced players once the dust settles down. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Romelu Lukaku, and plenty other Chelsea youngsters will be a testament to this fact.