Rashford proud to be bucking the 'top clubs' trend at Man Utd

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Marcus Rashford Manchester United
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The Red Devils forward forms part of an elite group of players seeing regular football at the very highest level while still under the age of 21

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford admits he is an exception to the rule as a player under the age of 21 seeing regular game time at a “top club”.

The England international is still just 20 years of age and will not reach a landmark birthday until October 31.

He is, however, a regular for club and country, with the 2015-16 campaign having proved to be his breakthrough as Louis van Gaal offered him a step up from the Old Trafford academy ranks.

Injuries to others worked in Rashford’s favour at that time and he concedes that it is getting ever more difficult for home-grown talent to be recognised at the very highest level.

He told United Review: "It is such a difficult thing to do and the stats obviously show it.

"The fact there are only 10 or so playing shows how difficult it is to do it. 

"I’d also say it’s harder at the top clubs, who can breed those types of players but they have fewer opportunities. You have to just try to get in the team and then stay in the side, like everyone else."

An investigation by United found that, after 24 games of the current Premier League campaign, only 10 players in the English top-flight that are under the age of 21 had figured in at least two-thirds of fixtures.

Rashford has appeared in 25 of the Red Devils’ 26 games so far and is well on course to record a personal best in terms of goals scored, with just two more efforts needing to be added to his current haul of 10 in order to hit a new high.

Jose Mourinho appears prepared to offer him the necessary opportunities, with the Portuguese having recently pointed out that he has continued to put faith in youngsters despite being portrayed as a “monster”.

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He said: "I think Marcus's story is quite interesting because he started playing with Mr Van Gaal when the team was really in trouble to have options.

"And then the monster that kills the little kids arrives but he plays every game! Since then, he plays every game - starting or coming from the bench as a striker, as a left-winger, as a right-winger. Then he goes to the national team. 

"The kid is having a hell of an experience at every level, so an amazing future awaits him and being surrounded by these players can only help him. But the story of Marcus not getting any minutes and matches is really old because he's a very important player for us."