Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is pleased Marcus Rashford has been selected to play for England's under-21s. The 18-year-old forward was a rare ray of hope in the Three Lions' squad at Euro 2016, but he has been demoted due to his lack of playing time this season.

Rashford has been an unused substitute in United's two Premier League games so far this season, and England manager Sam Allardyce has decided against picking him because he has not played any competitive football. Mourinho, for his part, has revealed he is in favour of the decision, saying it is better Rashford plays with the under-21s than watches the senior team from the bench.

"I prefer it this way, because to be selected [for the seniors] and be on the bench behind [Harry] Kane and [Jamie] Vardy and all the experienced players, than play one minute or not play," the United boss said, according to The Mirror. "I would prefer him to go to the under-21s and play what [Gareth] Southgate decides, but I believe 90 or 80 minutes, a big part of matches, and contribute to his development."

Rashford has not been fielded with United's first team since the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in July.

Mourinho, however, insisted he has been very impressed by the teenager's performances on the training ground.

"Marcus is a young and talented player. We bought one striker (Ibrahimovic) – not two or three or four. If you don't trust him or want him to play, you buy other strikers. That is not the case," the United boss explained.

"Zlatan is playing and is showing why. And Marcus is our striker number two at the moment. For an 18-year-old boy, I think he is amazing."