Rio Ferdinand defends Jose Mourinho’s handling of Man United striker
The Man United legend believes neither Jose Mourinho nor Marcus Rashford are to blame for the situation at Old Trafford
Rio Ferdinand has defended Jose Mourinho’s handling of Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.
The Red Devils striker has been linked with a potential move in the next transfer window following a difficult start to the season.
Rashford has only started one of Manchester United’s opening five games, while the England international has come off the bench three times.
The 20-year-old was handed the number 10 shirt in the summer but Rashford has struggled to dislodge Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.
Reports in the British media this week suggest Rashford is set to weigh up his options due to his frustrations over a lack of first-team football.
Mourinho has been the subject of criticism for stunting Rashford’s progress in the Manchester United team over the past few seasons.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand believes neither Mourinho nor Rashford are to blame for the evolving situation at Old Trafford.
“I just think there is a balance. I think it’s been blown out of proportion,” Ferdinand told ESPN.
“I don’t think it’s too far Mourinho’s fault and too far Rashford’s fault. I think there’s a balance in the middle and think that Mourinho in developing a player you have to take responsibility of how they develop.
“Yeah he is getting the minutes, but as player I look at it if I’m Marcus Rashford: ‘Have I started enough games? Do I feel if we have to go to play a big massive game am I going to start that game all the time? Does he see me as his main man to go win games?’
“At this moment I feel Marcus Rashford will say probably not. In terms of building confidence, that’s not a great place to start from. And that’s where I’ll probably sympathise with Marcus, but then you can flip back onto Marcus and say ‘hold on you need to have the character to sit there and say I’m going to fight.’
“You can bring in Lukaku, you can bring in Sanchez. I’m going to be the main man. I’m Manchester United, I’m Manchester United through and through. I know what it means to be here as a Man United player and I’m going prove to you that I am the main man.”
Rashford scored eight goals in 18 games in his first season in the Manchester United team under Louis van Gaal.
The England striker has netted 24 times in 108 outings since Mourinho replaced Van Gaal at Old Trafford.
Manchester United will take on Swiss side Young Boys in their Champions League opener on Wednesday night.