He told the Fifa website: “I think when you find young players like this – good players, interesting players at the top level – he has to play with the seniors. Age is not important. What’s important is the quality, the confidence.
“It’s a stupid example, but Maradona played when he was 16 because he was ready. Theo is ready for sure.”
He continued: “I hope he produces a good performance.
“I said after Croatia that everyone would speak about his performance and the people would be waiting for the same performance, but sometimes it’s not possible.
“I think we have to wait and treat Walcott like the normal players.
“Sometimes there will be a fantastic performance, other times it will be normal and others not good, so I substitute him – but that is normal like for the other players.”
He added: “I think confidence is important for young players, but usually it’s not the young players that help the other players.
“We need the old players, the captain, the leaders, to help the young.”