The late strike at Hull City marked yet another memorable night in Marcus Rashford’s young career. The 18-year-old’s winning goal which has enhanced his ever-growing reputation has seen some fans go as far as calling for the youngster to replace a senior player – possibly Ibrahimovic – upfront in Manchester United’s next match.

Of course, in a direct comparison, the energetic Rashford does offer more pace and mobility than his Swedish counterpart.

However, the suggestion that Rashford could/should start ahead of Ibrahimovic is still ridiculous. The emergence of the teenager is exciting, but having to choose between a world-class player and a promising youngster does not make sense.

It also looks as though most people are not aware of how youngsters should be handled. You bed them in and give them occasional opportunities to shine and build their confidence instead of expecting them to carry the load for a team chasing the Premier League title.

These sort of cameos where he has a good 20 minutes, capped by bagging a goal, are perfect for Rashford so far. That is the kind of role he should be playing for now as he finds his feet on the big stage.

There is a huge difference between playing the sub role and being trusted with leading the lines from the get-go.

The latter is much harder than the former and carries more burden and responsibilities. Jose Mourinho cannot afford to allow a youngster who is frankly still learning his football to lead the frontline; not this year where their aim is very high (winning the league or challenging for it at least).

For the moment, most of Rashford’s regular action should come in Europa League and FA cup affairs. The task of performing in the main events has to be assigned to Ibrahimovic.

Fans who believe that naming Rashford in the starting line up will result in him delivering week in, week out are giving a naive and knee-jerk reaction to the young striker’s promising cameos.

The harder it gets, the less confident Rashford is likely to become. And that is not the ideal kind of mindset or atmosphere a youngster should find himself in.

The way he is being handled now is as good as it should get.

Jeremy OsbornePost
The late strike at Hull City marked yet another memorable night in Marcus Rashford's young career. The 18-year-old's winning goal which has enhanced his ever-growing reputation has seen some fans go as far as calling for the youngster to replace a senior player - possibly Ibrahimovic - upfront in...