Rio Ferdinand fears Marcus Rashford has lost his spark under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United

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The Old Trafford legend doesn’t believe the manager has complete faith in the 20-year-old striker yet

Jose Mourinho still does not have complete faith in Marcus Rashford and the young striker has lost his spark, Rio Ferdinand believes.

The former Manchester United defender also says the signings of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez are further proof his manager isn’t 100 per cent keen.

This is despite Mourinho’s passionate defence arguing the contrary.

“I remember watching Rashford at Celta Vigo in the Europa League. He was like Roy of the Rovers, 19 years old, taking free-kicks and corners and the lot, Ferdinand, who is now a BT Sport pundit said.

“That is what I loved about him when he first came in. There was a single-mindedness, a young kid, with no fear, playing football for Man United, the team he supported as a boy.

“I want to see that back again. But the manager is paid to make the decisions and he has gone and bought Lukaku, he has gone and bought Sanchez. What message is that sending to this young player? You aren’t my main guy!

“He used to come on in games and terrorise and frighten the life out of people,” said Ferdinand.

“Now, he doesn’t do it as much. I think he is coming on and trying to please everyone. He might be confused on what the manager wants. It doesn’t seem that there is same spark. Where’s that fearlessness that there was before?

 

“Back in the day, he went straight for the jugular. Now, he takes his time a little bit more, he is not as assertive.

“There are little details that need to be reintroduced to Marcus, to get back to that fearless, explosive, scary footballer that came on the scene a couple years ago.”

Mourinho used a recent press conference to detail how many minutes he has given the young striker, following Jamie Carragher’s suggestion he may have to leave for more regular playing time.

United begin their Champions League campaign against Young Boys on Wednesday where Rashford could start considering he is currently in the middle of a three-match ban. However, it’s regular starts the 20-year-old needs, says Ferdinand.

“I look at it from Rashford’s point of view. If I am sitting there as Marcus Rashford and someone says to me, ‘Do you think your manager believes in you as his main, best striker and that he will build his team around you?’ I would say, ‘No. Because I am not starting every game,” he said.

“You ask any player. Coming on as a sub — that means nothing.

“Harry Kane starts every game. Kylian Mbappe starts every game. Wayne Rooney started every game. Michael Owen started every game. You can bring me all the minutes in the world, I don’t care. I can come on 10 minutes every game, I want to walk out on the pitch as the starter.

“That is when you know. You go out there to win every game. You would say: ‘If you want to win every game, gaffer, I should be starting.’ I don’t think it is all Mourinho’s fault, and I don’t think it is all Rashford’s fault. I think there is a balance.

“That is probably where Mourinho is upset, with people saying he has to leave. He must be thinking: ‘Hang on, I am doing it my way and I see this as the right way to develop him’.”


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