After a fantastic debut campaign under previous manager Louis van Gaal in 2015, which announced Marcus Rashford to the world at 17, the young England international struggled at times last season to break into the first team under new manager Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese manager recently revealed why.
According to reports from the Sun, the Manchester United academy graduate was used sparingly last season because of a sudden growth spurt that caused a great deal of pain for the young striker. When Mourinho arrived at the club he was 5 ft 11, but a couple of extra inches gained limited the 19-year-old's involvement at times with the first team.
To protect the blossoming forward from aggressive defenders in the Premier League, it has been revealed that Mourinho protected Rashford from further aggravation, which has now paid dividends at the start of the 2017/18 season.
“Marcus is already taller than when I arrived 13 months ago," said Mourinho. "He’s three centimetres taller and has put some muscle on.”
Now with the back pains behind him which made his sporting life difficult, Rashford has showcased his talent and staked a regular first team place with an excellent performance against West Ham in the opening Premier League fixture and a fine effort in pre-season.
Mourinho believes this could be the catalyst for change and expects the striker to perform even better this season.
“He’s a great professional and he has great attitude," added Mourinho. “Last season he wasn’t scoring goals and was missing a lot of chances, which was not a drama because that’s part of the evolution. But we know he’s going to score more than last season.”