The home-grown philosophy is one of the oldest at Old Trafford and Sir Alex Ferguson was so conscious about the number of youths that came off the ranks at the club. In the Fergie era, the greatest storm that shook the Premier League was in 1992 when the Manchester United squad had academy graduates such Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes. Other less popular players were still raised with the likes of Danny Welbeck and James Wilson cropping up of recent.
Even though Louis van Gaal has committed to huge financial deals to lure world class players over to Old Trafford, the Dutch boss has never overlooked the process of building the youngsters and apart from Adnan Januzaj who broke into the ranks last season, three other youth team players in Jesse Lingaard, Tyler Blacklet and Paddy McNair have also blossomed, in fact McNair featured in last week’s Manchester derby.
Another awesome youth talent is Andreas Pereira. The 18-year-old has done considerably well for the under 21 team this season and his wonderful performance for the under 21 hasn’t gone unnoticed as his stellar performance for the under 21 has earned him a promotion into Manchester United’s main squad. Although the Brazilian is yet to make his Premier League debut, he was on the bench against Chelsea, QPR and West Ham United. While he is still unlucky with the Premier League, Louis van Gaal had trusted him with some game time against the MK Dons in the capital one cup. In a recent interview, the youngster confirmed that a new deal that will see him continue to don the shirt of Manchester United for years to come is in the pipelines and was quoted to have said:
‘My intention is to stay here at the club, they didn’t speak with me until now I need to train well, doing my part and if God wants they will extend my contract. My agent is in charge of everything, I asked him to do his job without telling me anything to keep my focus on the pitch. I need to think only about Manchester United otherwise it will spoil my work here. I am happy. I’m playing in the first team since the manager selected me from the youth academy a month ago. I am very pleased because I can develop my skills with the best players in the world. It is been a great moment and I want to grow a lot as a player.’
Keeping these youth players can be really helpful for Louis van Gaal especially as he will be able to fall back on them in the event where he needs to shore up a section of the team when the more experienced regulars are unavoidably absent or if some of the stars start to hand in transfer request if the club fails to get a champions league spot. While the latter reason is most unlikely, we must realise that the best clubs are the ones that have a good youth team or a good feeder club dedicated to them.