MANCHESTER, April 22- Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal lauded his decision to give young striker Marcus Rashford a place in the first-team squad.
Rashford has made quite an impression since being handed his senior debut in February, becoming not only the youngest United player to score in Europe, but also the third-youngest to score in the Premier League.
Speaking to the press prior to his side’s FA Cup semi-final against Everton on Saturday, Van Gaal wanted to ensure that credit was given to all the parties that contributed to the teenage prodigy’s impact this season.
“You need always guts to put youngsters in the squad and also in the line-up,” the Dutchman said.
“Of course, the academy and all the academy coaches have credit for these players, also the scouts who discovered these boys. I am a little part of it. But that part is very important because you need the guts to do that.”
Van Gaal feels that he has played a significant role in launching the careers of several young players who went on to become household names.
“I have had that at all my clubs because I give youngsters the chance to do that,” he said. “I went to Ajax and Patrick Kluivert, 18 years old, made the same performance as Marcus Rashford.
“I can give a lot of examples of that, it’s not new. At Bayern Munich it was (Thomas) Muller, at Barcelona, Xavi (Hernandez) and (Andreas) Iniesta. Age is not the issue, quality is the big issue.”