Marcus Rashford was impressive on the opening day of the season when Manchester United beat West Ham 4-0. He claimed an assist for Romelu Lukaku’s goal and came close to scoring one himself but was denied by the woodwork.

Still only a teenager, United fans have high hopes for his future, starting with the season ahead. Having started 30 games for the first team last season, he did well to impress Jose Mourinho, although supporters had hoped to see even more of him. Under Louis van Gaal, he started every week in the final months of the season.

However, a surprising fact was revealed according to W88, in that Mourinho reportedly was trying to cover and protect the back injury experienced by the player last season.

According to reports, the player was carrying a back injury for much of the season thanks to the side effects of body growth. It is clear that Rashford’s muscle mass has increased considerably over the past year, but he has also grown three centimetres in this time. This increase has caused him so much pain that at times he struggled to travel to games on the train, instead being flown separately to the squad.

Mourinho is a big fan of Rashford though and sees him having a bright future at the club. With him set to turn 20 in a few months time, you would imagine he will stop growing soon, if he hasn’t done so already. Any back problems should therefore be a short-term issue and certainly didn’t seem to hold him back on the opening day of the season.

United’s legendary striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy, has been singing Rashford’s praises, claiming he had spotted him when playing for the youth team.

I watched him playing in the Under-19s against PSV. He was a huge talent even then. It’s amazing how he has developed so far. I couldn’t imagine that he would be playing in the first team just six months after I saw that game. And now he has won the Europa League, too! He has experienced such a quick development and that says something about his ability to learn. That’s a good characteristic to have.