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Man Utd boss Van Gaal compares Rashford to Kluivert

Louis van Gaal has likened Marcus Rashford's emergence to that of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Patrick Kluivert and Thomas Muller - all of whom were given a chance to shine thanks to the Manchester United manager's "guts".

Van Gaal is not afraid to give youngsters a go. Credit: Reuters

In less than two months, the 18-year-old has gone from young hopeful to Old Trafford favourite thanks to the exceptional way he has taken to life in the United first-team.

Rashford has netted seven goals in just 13 appearances and is the stand-out player among the youngsters given a chance this term.

Van Gaal was quick to highlight that youth has long been his focus and compared the United teenager to a number of famous names he has given a chance over the years.

He said:

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 St Germain. It is not strange, I think. Age is not the big issue. It is quality - it is the big issue.

You need always guts to put youngsters in the squad and also in the line-up, but of course the academy and all the coaches of the academy, they have their credits for these players.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal


Moyes: Man Utd should not sack Van Gaal

Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal. Credit: PA

Former Manchester United boss David Moyes does not think the club should sack his successor Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal is under heavy pressure after his side's underwhelming season took a serious turn for the worse with a dismal 2-1 defeat to Danish minnows FC Midtjylland on Thursday.

Moyes was axed with the club in similar disarray two years ago but the Scot does not believe another dismissal would be right.

Moyes told BBC Sport: "I don't think Manchester United should become a sacking club. I was disappointed when I lost my job after 10 months, but we would think Manchester United have always stood for much greater things than sacking their managers regularly. So, I don't think they should (sack him)."

Moyes was speaking while working as a TV pundit at former club Everton's FA Cup tie at Bournemouth.

Van Gaal urges Scholes to be more positive about Man United

Van Gaal fears Scholes is contributing towards a negative atmosphere. Credit: PA

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has suggested former midfielder Paul Scholes should be "more positive" in his comments about the club.

Scholes has been critical of the tactics used under Van Gaal, labelling the Red Devils "boring", and the Dutchman believes the 41-year-old's words could have had an adverse effect.

Van Gaal said in the Independent:

What Scholes is thinking, he has to think it. Every human being can give his opinion. I don't bother about that - I think it is good.

But my problem is when you create an atmosphere, a very negative atmosphere for somebody, so maybe he should be more positive.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal

Man Utd boss Van Gaal boosted by win at Anfield

Louis van Gaal celebrates victory at Anfield with assistant Ryan Giggs. Credit: PA

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes the 1-0 win at arch-rivals Liverpool can re-ignite their Premier League title challenge.

Wayne Rooney's 78th-minute strike - the visitors' only shot on target at Anfield - settled a game low on quality and chances.

It left United within seven points of leaders Arsenal and Van Gaal has not ruled out a late charge for the summit.

"We have a lot of matches still to go," said the Dutchman.

"We started 2016 very good with a lot of wins and I think this game will give a big boost to the players and the fans, and everyone in the environment of Manchester United.

"We have to continue, which is not so easy. We have seen that today but we can do it because we show every week we can do it."

Asked whether it was his best day of the season, Van Gaal added: "No, I don't think so. You have to see it always in perspective.

"It is a fantastic win for the fans, for me and the players and it will give us a boost, and maybe in that perspective you are right."


Van Gaal explains Man Utd transfer strategy in January

Louis van Gaal is prepared to dip into the January transfer market if he identifies a player who will improve his Manchester United squad.

Van Gaal is only looking for the top quality players. Credit: PA

The United manager has been linked with a number of players, including Gareth Bale, Sadio Mane and Felipe Anderson of late after he admitted the lack of goals within his team is a concern.

Van Gaal is also understood to be considering recruiting a full-back as he has been left short in that area thanks to injuries to Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo.

Writing in his programme for Saturday's FA Cup third round tie against Sheffield United, Van Gaal explained:

January brings the opening of the transfer window and, as I have already seen, we have been linked to a host of players.

I don't see January as the ideal time to do business as the players cannot then have the pre-season that I feel they need to be integrated into the squad, both on and off the pitch.

However, if I and the coaches feel that something can be done to improve the current squad then that is something we will look at if the opportunity does arise.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal

Man Utd manager has a new nickname for Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling is now referred to as "Pele" by Louis van Gaal as the Manchester United manager admits he still struggles to remember the defender's first name.

Van Gaal's jokes are back after a narrow victory against Swansea. Credit: PA

Van Gaal famously called Smalling "Mike" at a press conference in San Jose on United's pre-season tour last July and he blundered again by calling the centre-back "Michael" following the 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow four months later.

Van Gaal dropped another clanger on Friday when he twice referred to Will Keane by his twin brother's name Michael.

After being told he had got the striker's name wrong, Van Gaal added with a hearty laugh:

Or Will Keane... Michael is an easy name for me! I said to 'Mike' Smalling that I call him Pele because he had a fantastic move so it is easier to call him Pele now.

– Man United manager Louis van Gaal
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