Louis van Gaal has likened the astronomic rise of Marcus Rashford into the Manchester United first-team to the progress made by players like Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez when they were young.
Van Gaal was responsible for bringing through a number of stars during his time at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He has always had the golden touch in this regard. Iniesta, Xavi, and Bastian Schweinsteiger are some of the players who came through the ranks when van Gaal was at the Spanish and German clubs respectively.
Even though his time at United has been criticised heavily in recent weeks, he has played a major role in identifying and bringing through players like Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Rashford is just 18 years old and many feel that he should have been given a slow introduction into the first-team. Van Gaal says that he has seen many players cope straightaway with the pressure and demands of the first-team. He has recalled his experiences with the likes of Iniesta, Patrick Kluivert, and Thiago Motta who have come into the first-team at a similar age. Iniesta still continues to dominate the Barcelona team at the age of 31.
There have been calls for including Rashford in the England squad for the Euro 2016."When I go to Ajax and then Patrick Kluivert, 18 years old, made the same performances as Marcus Rashford. I can give a lot of examples of that, it is not new. In Bayern Munich, it was Muller. In Barcelona, Xavi was 18 years old and Iniesta 17 years old.[Thiago] Motta was also 18 years old, he is now playing for Paris Saint-Germain.It is not strange, I think. Age is not the big issue. It is quality -- it is the big issue," said the Dutchman about Rashford.