Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville has urged Jose Mourinho to start Marcus Rashford alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack against Leicester City on 24 September.

Rashford, 18, came off the bench to score for United in their EFL Cup third-round clash against Northampton Town, and also set up a goal for Ander Herrera as the Red Devils ran out 3-1 winners.

He also scored in United's defeat against Watford at the weekend and netted a dramatic late winner against Hull City in August.

Neville told Sky Sports that it would be hard for Mourinho to leave Rashford out of the team for the visit of champions Leicester.

"This kid is special. He has to start [against Leicester] – when a young lad is in such good form you've got to let them fly," the former England international said.

"You've just got pick him. It puts others under pressure, but this kid is special and he's scoring goals.

"The biggest quality he's got is his temperament. To play for Manchester United is not easy, especially at a young age.

"He's making it look easy — he's getting quicker, he's getting stronger and the relationship between him and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is going to be special."

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford, 18, has been in excellent form for Manchester UnitedGetty Images

Starting Rashford would likely mean Wayne Rooney will have to play elsewhere or be dropped from the team, with Neville saying that the England captain's form was suffering due to his position being shifted around constantly.

"He's still an important player, but you can see in his performance he's not playing to the top level," he said.

"His game is not flowing and things aren't coming easy to him. Tonight was important for him to get out there and play another 90 minutes. The worry is he ended up on the right wing again.

"The continuing change of positions will affect him. He wants to be a centre forward or a centre midfielder — he doesn't want to be stuck on the right wing. That's having a massive effect on his performance."

United will face Manchester City in the fourth round of the EFL Cup at Old Trafford in October.