Marcus Rashford has been “harshly treated” by Manchester United, says Lee Sharpe, with an exciting talent deserving of more support from Jose Mourinho.
Despite still being a regular part of the Red Devils’ plans in 2017-18, the 20-year-old forward found Premier League starts hard to come by as the season wore on.
The January arrival of Alexis Sanchez did little to aid his cause, with Mourinho often leaving Rashford and fellow frontman Anthony Martial frustrated on the sidelines.
Those calls have been questioned by Sharpe, with the former United winger of the opinion that more should be done to keep a man now sparking transfer talk settled and happy.
He told PA Sport: “I think he’s been a little bit harshly treated, dipping in and out of the team has not helped him.
“It doesn’t seem like Jose Mourinho is building a team around him and he’s never been one for putting young ones in.
“Having been a similar age in a similar sort of position to Marcus, I know how it feels and even though you get the odd week where you get tired you need to get that rhythm and to feel the manager is backing you. Sanchez coming in and taking a place hasn’t helped him.
“To be in and out just isn’t great and it’s also a little tough for him being in a team who aren’t playing fluently, moving the ball around and dominating.”
While Rashford endured a testing end to his domestic campaign, a summer of international football has been opened in some style.
A stunning goal in a 2-0 friendly victory over Costa Rica has set the youngster up perfectly for World Cup duty, with Sharpe backing a player blessed with searing pace and a keen eye for goal to “scare” the very best defences on the planet.
He added: “I think he could be huge for England at the tournament.
“There are a few senior international defenders who will be absolutely petrified of him if he’s given licence to just run at people and do his stuff. He should be told to go and fill his boots and express himself.
“Rashford could scare people to death out there, score a few goals and win a few penalties.”
Rashford end the club season with a career-best 13 goals for United, while his latest effort for England means that he now has three for his country in 19 appearances.