Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford risks suffering from physical burnout if manager Louis van Gaal persists fielding the 18-year-old, according to former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. The England Under-20 international made his ninth successive start in the win over Everton but looked notably leg-weary during the 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
Rashford was thrust into the first team due to the club's extensive injury list and made an instant impact with a brace of goals in successive matches against FC Midtjylland and Arsenal. In March, he became the youngest scorer in a Manchester derby in the Premier League era during the win at the Etihad Stadium.
The impressive start to life in the United senior ranks led to calls for him to be included in the England squad for summer's European Championships. However, former goalkeeper Schmeichel wants to see Rashford rested to prevent him from suffering from exhaustion in his first campaign in the top flight.
"Over the years, there has always been a goalscorer upfront," the ex-United stopper told Sky Sports. "There has always been someone to put the ball in the back of the net scoring 15 or 20 goals. Martial is the top scorer coming from the left and we have not known who is going to be the No 9.
"I like the boy Rashford, he is an incredible talent and I am seriously looking forward to the future, but he is a young lad and he needs to be eased into the game. He is doing well at the moment, but playing every game can ruin him. It doesn't have to be much wrong to set him back a long, long time."
The Daily Telegraph has reported captain Wayne Rooney could make his return from a knee injury as soon as the Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur having been out since February. Phil Jones and Ashley Young made their comebacks for the Under-21s against Chelsea on Monday (4 April) and Schmeichel wants to see rotation now Van Gaal has key players available again.
"I seriously think it would be some achievement for Manchester United to get themselves into that fourth position, but I'm doubting it," he added." You look at the bench now and some of the names coming back from injury and he has been forced to play in a certain way with certain players for a long time.
"Now they are coming back. Van Gaal will have choices now and can rest some of his players. He has not had that opportunity and let's wait and see what happens."