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Published: 22:52 | 26/8/16

Mourinho reassures Rashford & Mkhitaryan

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says teenage striker Marcus Rashford "will play a lot" this season.

Rashford was demoted from the England senior team to the Under-21s this week over his lack of game time this season, but Mourinho says the 18-year-old is very much part of his plans for United, both in the Premier League and Europe.

The Manchester-born striker scored eight goals in 18 games for United last season but has yet to feature under Mourinho this campaign.

"Marcus will play a lot. I cannot choose competitions. I cannot say Zlatan Ibrahimovic doesn’t play one single match in the Europa League because that is not the case," the Portuguese said.

"I cannot say Marcus doesn’t start matches in the Premier League because that is not the case. He is a young and talented player. We didn’t buy more strikers.

"We bought one, not two or three or four. If you don’t trust him, or want him to play, we buy other strikers. Zlatan is playing and showing why and Marcus is striker No2 at the moment. For an 18-year-old boy, he is amazing."

Rashford, who has won three England caps and featured at Euro 2016 this June, has been named in Gareth Southgate's Under-21 squad for the Euro 2017 qualifier with Norway in Colchester on 6 September.

"I prefer he is not selected for the national team, because to be on the bench after Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy and all the experienced players and play one minute is not the best," Mourinho said.

"I would prefer him to play for the under-21s and what Southgate decides – to play 90 or 80 minutes – and contribute to his development, so no problems. All good."

Mourinho also moved to reassure £30m signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who scored 23 goals in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund last season and is the current Bundesliga player of the year, but has yet to start a match for United.

"It’s difficult but if Juan Mata is on the bench you tell me I want to kick him out," Mourinho said when asked about Mkhitaryan’s lack of playing time.

"If I don’t play Anthony Martial it’s because he is in crisis or Ashley Young, it’s because I don’t like Ashley Young. Or Memphis Depay is not playing because he is on his way out.

"Miki is a super player and so I am sure he will succeed. I am not in a rush to play him to show the world how good he is.

"Maybe he will play at Hull. We have a very good squad and every weekend we are going to be here and you are going to ask about A, B or C because it’s a normal thing."

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