Manchester United have confirmed that Marcus Rashford will wear the club’s number 10 shirt this season, after the England international turned out in the number on Sunday night. The England international, in his first game back since his exertions in Russia during the World Cup, couldn’t avert a second defeat of pre-season as United slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, but the 20 year old, now starting his third full season at the club, will don the number worn by Mark Hughes, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney and, most recently Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“He wanted it,” said Mourinho to MUTV. “He always wanted it. Of course, he respected the big Rooney and then Zlatan wanted to have it. Of course, he was in the shadow, waiting for the opportunity and now the shirt is empty.
“It’s something fantastic for the kid, let’s give the shirt to him.”
It’s certainly a symbolic gesture to give Rashford the number 10 jersey, if only because it suggests that he is viewed as a key part of the first team going forward. The Wythenshawe-born forward, who notched 13 goals in 52 appearances last season (although a large number of those were substitute appearances), has been at the club for the entirety of his career, and, as his manager mentioned, had eyes on the jersey formerly worn by Rooney, the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Rashford will be hoping for a more prolific campaign this season, having seen his game time cut after the emergence of Jesse Lingard and signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal last January. Starts became less regular as a result, but with Anthony Martial and Mourinho’s relationship under severe strain this summer, and Lingard only just returning to pre-season training himself, perhaps there’s an opportunity for Rashford to establish himself as a key part of his manager’s plans for this season within the next few weeks.