Jose Mourinho mocked himself "the monster that kills kids" as he insisted Marcus Rashford remains a crucial member of Manchester United's side after Alexis Sanchez's arrival.
Mourinho's attacking riches now include star forward Sanchez after the Chile international swapped Arsenal for Premier League rivals United last week.
The signing of Sanchez has raised doubts over Rashford's game time at Old Trafford, with Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard also vying for starting spots.
Rashford has featured in all 36 of United's matches this season, the 20-year-old named in the starting XI on 20 occasions.
But Mourinho – who has a reputation for not giving youth a chance – reassured Rashford over his role in Manchester.
"Marcus' story is quite interesting because he started playing with Mr [Louis] Van Gaal, when the team was really in trouble, to have options," said Mourinho.
"Then 'The monster that kills the little kids' arrived, but he plays every game since then. He plays every game, starting or coming from the bench, as a striker, as a left winger, as a right winger. Then he goes to the national team.
"The kid is having a hell of an experience at every level, so an amazing future waits for him and being surrounded by these players can only help him. But the whole story of Marcus — will he get minutes and matches? — that story is really old, because he's a very important player for us."
Mourinho added: "In attack, it's difficult for us to improve. Where are we going to get a better combination of players than we have? We cannot buy Lionel Messi, we cannot buy Cristiano Ronaldo – these are the best players of the last decade.
"Where can we get better players than Mata, Martial, Lingard, Rashford, Alexis, Lukaku? In attack, we have an amazing group of players."
United – second and eighth points clear of Tottenham – travel to London to face Spurs at Wembley Wednesday.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.