Louis van Gaal has tried to cool the hype around Jesse Lingard’s emergence, saying it is too early for the Manchester United winger to receive an England call-up.
Lingard netted his first United goal at the weekend to break the deadlock in the 2-0 win over West Brom at Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old has had a run of starts of late, impressing on the left side while keeping summer signing Memphis Depay on the substitutes bench.
Lingard’s form has prompted to some to raise the possibility of a senior call-up from Roy Hodgson, but Van Gaal believes the academy product should be given time to prove that he can be consistent.
The manager said: “I would say it is much too early.
“We have to wait to see if he is consistent because he is more or less the same age as Memphis Depay.
“We have to wait but I am very happy with his contribution up until now.”
It was a big day on Saturday for another youth product at Old Trafford, with 18-year-old Cameron Borthwick-Jackson coming off the bench to make his senior debut.
“It is the way I lead this club,” said Van Gaal. “I don’t want a big squad because when you have a big selection it doesn’t give any chance to the young players.”