By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Louis van Gaal has urged the media to leave Marcus Rashford in peace following the extraordinary start to the teenager’s career.

The 18-year-old striker is the talk of English football after scoring four goals in his first two senior matches, a double against Midtjylland in the Europa League followed by Sunday’s astonishing brace in the 3-2 win over Arsenal.

It prompted Van Gaal to compare Rashford with European greats Xavi, Thomas Muller and Patrick Kluivert in terms of immediate impact on a team managed by the Dutchman in his glittering career.

But Van Gaal want the United academy graduate to keep his feet on the floor and ignore all the attention and focus on him following his remarkable rise to stardom in the space of a week.

“First I think that the media have to leave him in peace,” the Dutchman said at his media briefing on Tuesday. “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.

“Give him the time to be 18-years-old and we shall guide him also in that way.

Father figure: Rashford is one of 14 Academy graduates given a first-team chance by Van Gaal

Father figure: Rashford is one of 14 Academy graduates given a first-team chance by Van Gaal

“He’s a very modest guy, so I don’t think that will be a problem, but when you have so much attention from the media it can go another way, but I believe he shall keep his feet on the ground.”

Rashford is set for his third start against Watford tomorrow at Old Trafford, although Van Gaal said Anthony Martial is in contention to return to the team after shaking off a hamstring injury.

United go into the Watford game three points off fourth spot, their hopes of a Champions League spot revived by Sunday’s win over Arsenal, in which Rashford bagged two and set up the winner.