Speaking ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final meeting with Everton the Dutchman claimed that, while Rashford has done well, he still has plenty to take on board if he is to thrive at this level. “United should give him at least one more year”. I can give a lot of other examples of the same thing.
However, Van Gaal has moved to play down the excitement surrounding the teenage striker as he bids to get his side ready for their clash with the Toffees in north London. Müller at Bayern, Xavi and Iniesta at Barcelona. Age is not the big issue.
One saving grace for the former Barcelona boss has been his success in bringing through young players, but he’s risked fans’ wrath again now by saying that the in-form Rashford is not ready to be a first-team regular.
“But what Kluivert was in my first year at Ajax is Rashford now in my second year at United”. As a manager you always need guts to put youngsters in the squad. “But that part is very important because you need the guts to [put them in the team]”.
But Arnesen reckons United should stick with Van Gaal instead. All the same, a semi-final at Wembley can not be taken lightly, and with Everton in disarray following a costly defeat in the Merseyside derby, United must be favourites to reach the final.
United head into Saturday’s game on the back of their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford as they stayed in fifth place in the Premier League table.
“We have gone further in the competition than we did a year ago”, Van Gaal said, determined not to get carried away. I do my utmost best to prepare the team.