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Jose Mourinho launches strong defence of Marcus Rashford’s development at Man Utd

11:55 am, 14th September 2018

Rashford has managed just one start and a total of 122 minutes in the Premier League this season, a situation that will not improve in the short term due to a three-game ban for headbutting Burnley’s Phil Bardsley.

In contrast, the 20-year-old found himself cast in a starring role for Southgate’s England over the past week, scoring both of the team’s goals against Spain and Switzerland and looking every inch an international-class forward.

Jamie Carragher said earlier this week Rashford may need to leave Manchester United if he is to emerge as a world-class player but Mourinho insists that is not the case and he arrived at Friday morning’s press conference armed with the numbers to back up his view.

Mourinho said: “In the season 2016/17, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches including the final, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches including the final, 53 appearances.

“If you want to take the minutes of play, he played 3,068 minutes. If you want to divide that by 90 minutes of the matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90 minutes.

“In the 2017/18 season, he played 35 Premier League matches, eight in the Champions League, five in the FA Cup including the final, three League Cup matches and the European Super Cup final.

“He played a total of 52 matches with 2, 676 minutes. If you divide that by 90 it gives 29.7 matches.

“So with me in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5, 744 minutes, 63.7 matches of 90 minutes including five finals so the people that are speaking about his minutes I think they are a bit confused.”

Mourinho also took the opportunity to have a dig at some of United’s rivals be comparing Rashford’s development to some other top, young English players at rival clubs.

“Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke. He is not Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He is not Dominic Calvert-Lewein,” Mourinho said.

“He is Marcus Rashford – a Manchester United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions.

“So Manchester United supporters, for you and just for you to know what we are doing with Marcus Rashford, with Luke Shaw, with Jesse Lingard, with Scott McTominay, that is what we are doing here.”