We’ve gotta admit, we’re a little concerned about Marcus Rashford.
Man United’s young striker is supposedly “doing more than enough for us to be happy” according to Jose Mourinho, which is fair enough.
After all, the 20-year-old has scored 11 times in 40 appearances so far this term, equalling his total haul from last season.
What’s more, things are looking up for him next season, as Mourinho has repeatedly claimed that the club will not be signing a new striker in the summer, even if Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves (which is likely).
That’ll certainly be good news for Rashford, who will probably be given more game-time as back-up to Romelu Lukaku.
However, it’s his prospects for England that we’re thinking about.
As the World Cup edges ever-closer, the fact that Rashford isn’t a regular at United is mildly concerning.
He may played 40 times so far this season, but only 13 of his 28 Premier League appearances have been from the starting line-up.
Especially lately, where the form of Anthony Martial and the signing of Alexis Sanchez has pushed him out of regular contention.
In fact, he hasn’t started a league game since Boxing Day.
But that’s fine, you say.
After all, worse players than Rashford have played for England at major tournaments off the back of less-than-impressive campaigns.
Jack Wilshere was on the field for the thumping against Iceland two years ago, for example, despite barely kicking a ball all year.
However, Southgate – who will be selecting his World Cup squad in a few months time – has said that England players must be performing well for their clubs if they stand a chance of going to Russia this summer.
Late last year, he said: “I don’t think anybody can sit back and safely think they’re going to be involved next summer.
“In every position on the field there’s really strong competition. If I had to do it tomorrow, I’d know who I’d take, but over the next six months that could evolve drastically.”
Mourinho, though, is adamant the starlet can still get into Southgate’s squad.
Speaking ahead of United’s clash against Crystal Palace on Monday, he said: “If the national coach trusts him, he selects him.
“It doesn’t matter if he plays or doesn’t play. There are many examples of players who don’t play for their clubs at all and they go to the national teams.
“You have the example of Sergio Romero, who is the second goalkeeper at Manchester United and the first goalkeeper for such an amazing football country like Argentina.
“In your own country, you have examples of players who play even without scoring a goal in the Premier League.
“So, it’s up to Gareth Southgate. If he trusts him, he selects him. It doesn’t matter if he plays or if he doesn’t play for Manchester United.”
Rashford was the most exciting name in England’s squad at Euro 2016, entering the tournament off the back of his outstanding debut season at United.
Could he really fail to make the team two years later?
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