Rashford has earned plenty of praise this season since breaking into the first team at Old Trafford and has scored seven goals in 12 appearances.
The youngster scored four goals in his first two senior starts against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League and Arsenal in the Premier League, he had started United’s last 15 matches before he was left out at Carrow Road.
Van Gaal believes Rashford had been showing signs of fatigue in recent games and decided to leave him at home so he could give the striker a rest.
“You see in the games, Marcus is not doing the things he did in his first match or second match any more,” he said.
“You want to deny that at first and you say it to him but then you see maybe it is tiredness. So I hope that these two days give him again the stimulus to be in the line-up in the next game because we have to play West Ham and it’s not an easy game.
“I wouldn’t have rested him for the match [if there wasn’t another one on Tuesday] but now we only have two days’ recuperation and recovery. That is too short for these players.”
It was a risky move by van Gaal to rest Rashford against Norwich, it’s fair to say Martial’s injury was unexpected, but deciding not to bring him on the bench could have been a costly mistake.
The 18-year-old is likely to start Tuesday night’s Premier League fixture against West Ham United and a fresh pair of legs on the pitch could be crucial for United.
We lacked pace going forward against Norwich and with Anthony Martial currently injured, Rashford’s contributions up front will be make or break in our hunt for a top four finish.