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Mourinho praises “brilliant” Marcus Rashford and insists his time at Old Trafford will come

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has hailed Marcus Rashford, and insists he is still a vital member of his squad despite making only 13 starts in the Premier League this season.

The young Englishman had a blistering start to the new season, finding the net five times in the first seven games of the campaign.

Despite his brilliant start however, Rashford quickly fell out of Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans, and the arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January saw the 20-year-old’s first team opportunities cut even shorter.

Rashford has now only scored three times since October, but Mourinho has defended the youngster and says he is more than happy with his progress this season.

The boss said: “Because Marcus had such an impact in the beginning, probably people are expecting him to play even more than he does and score even more than he does and to perform even more than he does. But that’s not so simple.

“At his age, what he’s doing is more than enough, and the experience that he’s getting at every level is more than enough, for us to be happy with what we think is going to be his future.”

United travel to Crystal Palace tonight as they look to keep pace with second placed Liverpool, and Mourinho hinted that Rashford could play a part in his side’s trip to Selhurst Park.

The United manager said: “The good thing with Marcus is he can play in the three attacking positions so, even when he doesn’t start, to be on the bench is such a security for me and for the team.

“Marcus is a fantastic boy. He is also very grounded and, for sure, we love him, and we believe in him and he’s going to have the chances to keep developing.”