Man Utd boss must seize win-win situation and select striker
Every so often a young player rises through the ranks that is simply so good he cannot be left out, even surrounded by megastars costing millions.
Manchester United are blessed to have one such boy wonder on their books presently in Marcus Rashford.
However, having only been seen in glimpses so far this season, a debut hat-trick for England’s U21s must have done enough to convince United manager Jose Mourinho that Rashford is worth a starting place in the forthcoming Manchester derby.
Three goals for the Young Lions can now be added to a remarkable sequence of debut-capping in 2016, where the 18-year-old marked European and Premier League introductions with braces, before scoring on his first senior England appearance.
Rahsford’s last action for his club before the international break was netting the last-minute winner at Hull from off the bench to ensure the Red Devils’ perfect start to the season was maintained.
What better chance will Mourinho have to endear himself to the Old Trafford faithful this weekend than by granting his teenage star a first start of the campaign against bitter rivals Manchester City?
For a manager so often accused of overlooking youth, and viewed as an ill-fit as United boss by many fans for this very reason, a more gift-wrapped chance for the Portuguese to challenge that part of his reputation has arguably never existed.
The final piece of astrological alignment that Rashford should be pitched against City is Anthony Martial’s distinctly pale form compared to the intensely colourful performances he put in last term.
Still only a teenager himself until December last year, the Frenchman is goalless in five starts for club and country this term.
Being hauled off after just 57 minutes of Les Blues’ recent World Cup qualifier against Belarus after enduring a largely forgettable Euros sum up his drop in standards.
Mourinho needn’t see it as bowing to clamour if selecting Rashford instead, it’s just the most obvious football decision he could make given he has a player bang in form.
United are 13/10 to draw the first truly meaningful blood of the season when Pep Guardiola’s charges turn up at Old Trafford for the live Saturday lunchtime showdown in the Premier League.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.