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Van Gaal: Martinez and I know the importance of youth

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he can see similarities between himself and Everton boss Roberto Martinez ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash.

Van Gaal and Martinez, aside from both being under pressure for better results from their respective clubs, have shown they are not afraid to trust youth in their times of need.

The Dutchman has successfully blooded the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from the youth academy throughout the season while he has also relied heavily on Anthony Martial since his arrival.

Since taking over Everton, Martinez has backed 21-year-old John Stones in defence, while Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku remain key figures in his team.

“What he is doing is the sign of a good manager because I believe in young players too,” Van Gaal said.

“They are always a stimulus in the group and that is very important. I think also that you have to make a mix of older and younger players in your team.”

Van Gaal said no-one should be surprised by his use of youth-team products having made a habit of it throughout his career, but admitted Rashford – who has scored seven goals since making his United debut – is not ready to be the main man for United up front.

“At Bayern it was [Thomas] Muller, at Barcelona it was Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta. I have lots of examples,” he said.

“Rashford is not ready. He knows that. You need always guts to put youngsters in the squad and also in the line-up.”

Pressed on whether Rashford should be selected for Euro 2016, he replied: “That you have to ask to other people, not to me. I don’t want to interfere.”

Thu 21 Apr, 2016
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