Despite doing plenty to suggest he’s ready to start Manchester United matches for Jose Mourinho, Marcus Rashford continues to find himself on the outskirts of the Portuguese’s line-up.
The England man rescued three points for the Red Devils at Hull before the international break, then joined up with Gareth Southgate’s U21s and netted a hat-trick on debut.
Yet he began the recent Manchester derby on the bench as his manager ignored media calls to unleash the fleet-footed teenager on Pep Guardiola’s Citizens from the outset.
However, a chance to prove his worth as a regular for the Portuguese will reportedly arrive in the Europa League.
The Red Devils face Feyenoord in their first match of the competition, with many suggesting Rashford will be one of the customary changes made to the side for the midweek clash.
Although that may seem like a consolation prize for Rashford given his form, it could actually be the springboard from which he launches himself into the Premier League reckoning. It wouldn’t be the first time an England frontman took that route either.
Two seasons ago, Harry Kane was stuck behind Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor in the Tottenham pecking order and was left to feast off Europa League starts.
His performances in that competition, when he netted seven strikes in his first six games, prompted Mauricio Pochettino to move him up a couple of rungs on the striking ladder and Kane never looked back.
The 23-year-old ended that season with 31 goals in all competitions and both Soldado and Adebayor were sold the following summer.
Although it’s unlikely that Rashford’s Europa League form will be the catalyst for Mourinho to get rid of Wayne Rooney or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it could help him leapfrog either player on the food chain.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.