Louis van Gaal said “it is never too early” when asked if Manchester United’s breakthrough star Marcus Rashford could make England’s Euro 2016 squad.
The 18-year-old has swiftly risen from unknown to an Old Trafford favourite, having followed-up a debut brace against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League with another double during an even better performance at home to Arsenal.
Rashford produced another solid display as United eked out a 1-0 win against Watford in midweek – just the third senior appearance of his career, but a match followed by talk of a Euro 2016 place.
England boss Roy Hodgson was keen to keep the pressure off when quizzed about the teenager in Paris, but he refused to rule the striker in or out of selection for this summer’s tournament.
Van Gaal bristled when those comments were put to him at the press conference previewing Sunday’s trip to West Brom, although the United boss underlined his belief that quality is more important than experience.
“I think that Mr Hodgson has answered the question of the media and now you are asking again,” he said.
“Who is paying a lot of attention to that? It is the media, it is not Hodgson or I. We have to answer the questions.
“This is my answer to you – you are putting the question and then you are saying Hodgson is telling something. No, he is answering questions.”
When asked again whether England recognition would be too much, too soon for Rashford, Van Gaal added: “It is never too early. I have said it also a lot of times in my press conferences.
“Age is not important, I have said that. Maybe you remember that? Age is not important, it is the quality.”