Rashford, coming off the back of another two-goal showing against FC Midtjylland on Thursday, scored a brace and created another at Old Trafford as Man United beat the Gunners 3-2.
The performance has propelled Rashford into the spotlight, with some proclaiming him to be United’s saviour. However, van Gaal insisted the youngster must “keep his feet on the ground”.
“First I think that the media have to leave him in peace. When you are in front of his house and that kind of stuff, I don’t think that is beneficial for a boy of 18 years,” van Gaal said.
“Give him the time to be 18 years old, and we shall guide him also in that way. He is a very modest guy, so I don’t think that shall be a problem; of course, when you have so much attention from the media, it can go in another way. But I believe he shall keep his feet on the ground.”
Of course, van Gaal is exactly right; Rashford should not get too carried away and there is still a lot of hard work for him yet.
That being said, it is hard to not get swept up in the romanticism of his story. Aged just 18, after rising through the youth ranks, a Mancunian-born lad scores twice on his Premier League debut, and against Arsenal no less. Whatever happens in the future, he’ll always have that moment.