The amount of game time Marcus Rashford is currently getting at Old Trafford and Jose Mourinho’s overall plans for the English youngster have been massive talking points over the last couple of weeks.
Liverpool legend and former England international Jamie Carragher is one of many to weigh in on the ordeal and believes Rashford is in an unfavourable predicament at Manchester United.
On the topic, Carragher wrote in his Sky Sports column: “Romelu Lukaku is in front of Rashford and I don’t see Rashford displacing him as long as he is there. But remember when Lukaku was at Chelsea and he had to come away and go to Everton. Then he ended up as top scorer and got his move to Man Utd.
“Possibly Everton is the sort of club you are looking at, just below the top six, for someone like Rashford, similar to what Lukaku did.”
And Carragher’s former England team-mate and Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand has since echoed those views.
“He has brought in Lukaku. He has brought in Sanchez. Them boys will start,” Ferdinand told the Daily Mirror.
Mourinho, though, has hit out at those questioning Rashford’s playing time, insisting the £58.5m-rated (via Transfermarkt) 20-year-old has been given a significant amount of appearances under him.
And, while Mourinho did make some interesting points in his defence of how he has handled Rashford, there is no denying the fact that the England international is not the first name on the team-sheet for the Manchester United boss.
And, even if he were, it would not be in his favoured position up front.
As alluded to by Carragher and Ferdinand, Lukaku is Mourinho’s undisputed No.9, and the former Chelsea manager has made that abundantly clear in the past.
Speaking after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Brighton at the Amex towards the end of last season, Mourinho said (via the Daily Express): “You have the answer now when you ask ‘why always Lukaku?'”
Such words, quite frankly, suggest that as long as Mourinho is in the Old Trafford dugout, Rashford will never be the first-choice to lead the line.
Whether it is down to playing style or something completely different, Mourinho does not have the same level of faith in Rashford that he has is in Lukaku. And the arrival of Alexis Sanchez back in January and the attributes of Jesse Lingard mean tying down a regular spot on the wing will also be a difficult task for the Manchester United youth product.
With that mind, as mentioned by Carragher, if Rashford truly wants to reach his full potential and gain regular minutes as a No.9, then he must leave Manchester United.