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10th Feb 2018

Why Jamie Redknapp feels sorry for Marcus Rashford

Does he have a point?

Darragh Murphy

According to reports, Jose Mourinho put Alexis Sanchez’s locker next to Marcus Rashford’s in the Manchester United dressing room.

Mourinho sees Sanchez as the perfect player to take Rashford under his wing and aid his development.

The arrival of Sanchez from Arsenal in January has given the United manager a welcome selection headache as he is now spoiled for choice in terms of attacking options, with Rashford and Sanchez joining the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as potential forces in the Red Devils’ attack.

And while several optimistic United supporters see the addition of Sanchez as a positive one for the club’s future, Jamie Redknapp thinks that it will only serve to hinder Rashford’s progress.

“I can’t help but feel disappointed about what it does to a player like Marcus Rashford,” Redknapp wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“Some would say that great players come and go and you’ve got to get on with it, but the bottom line is that Rashford has now dropped down the pecking order.”

Since leaving the Gunners, Sanchez has started two Premier League games for his new club and Rashford has had to settle for a place on the bench in both games.

Sanchez has claimed that his preferred positions are either on the left side of United’s attack or through the centre, meaning he’s effectively stepped into Rashford’s favoured role.

And that doesn’t surprise Redknapp in the slightest.

“That’s what football is like. When I signed for Liverpool at the age of 17, I went straight ahead of all the other players in the youth team because I had been bought in from outside,” Redknapp added. “It’s the same with Sanchez now. Due to his reputation and the fact he has been bought by the manager, Sanchez will always go ahead of Rashford whether he is playing better or not.

“It’s the hardest thing for a young English player. You feel like you are just getting to the top of the pecking order and then suddenly, bang, it’s like a sledgehammer hits you. Your club have signed a world star.

“Mourinho has said Sanchez can be an inspiration to Rashford but I don’t think that’s what he needs right now.

“We’re talking about an established England international. There is only one way to learn, and it’s not by sitting next to someone in the dressing room, it’s by playing in the team.”