Marcus Rashford admits a lack of regular starts for Manchester United is “frustrating” but insists his development has not been stunted as a result.
Having burst onto the scene at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal in 2016, the highly-rated forward has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of club and international football.
He is now an England star chasing down World Cup glory and an important part of Jose Mourinho’s plans at United, but he is also just 20 years of age and still learning his trade.
Rashford acknowledges as much, with it his opinion that he has continued to progress as a player as part of a star-studded United squad which presents him with fierce competition for places.
He told reporters on his domestic battles as his prepares for another international outing with England against Colombia at the last 16 stage of Russia 2018: “Every player will tell you it’s always frustrating when you don’t start. You have to look at the positives – you get two extra days’ training.
“It’s not stopped me developing. If it had stopped me developing then it’s more of a problem.
“He [Mourinho] has 20-25 players. Everyone has different attributes and suits different styles so finding the right balance is a tough job for a manager.
“He got it right most of the time last season but we need a bit extra to push for the title.”
Rashford was involved in 53 games for United last season, recording a career-best 13 goals and providing nine assists, but he started only 26 of those fixtures.
It has been suggested that he could be on the move this summer, as he seeks to avoid further bench duty, but he has offered no indication that is the case.
Instead, a man who also faces a fight with Raheem Sterling for a starting berth in England’s attacking unit has vowed to continue biding his time and working hard to impress Mourinho and Gareth Southgate.
Rashford added: “You’ve got to be patient.
“You have to have an open mind because there are a lot of top players that all bring different qualities to the game.
“And at the level we’re playing at here, being in an England camp or whether it is at the club, you have to really understand that.”
United have Rashford tied to a contract until 2020, so are under no pressure to part with his services, with Mourinho having already stated that he expects the youngster to stay as he “doesn’t need to leave to play”.