Manchester United legend and assistant manager Ryan Giggs has spoken about United’s youth policy in what appears to be another carefully warning for whoever will be in charge of United next season (if Louis van Gaal’s potential exit is true). According to him, the new manager will have to adhere to the clubs policy of promoting the development of young stars from the club’s academy.
Giggs’ warning is reportedly meant for Jose Mourinho, who is viewed as the rightful candidate to replace Van Gaal as United’s new boss. Giggs’ role as assistant manager at United has seen him come under fire for being part of the Van Gaal set-up, but it is clear that he is keen to promote his vision for the club’s future in a bid to push his claims to be the club’s next manager.
However, together with Van Gaal, they have managed to promote the development of youngsters with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson rising from the youth ranks. Giggs is believed to have a strong belief in the club’s youth policy and its importance in terms of the club’s history and philosophy.
“I think it will always be part of the club’s philosophy,” Giggs said. “It’s part of the history, it’s what sets us apart from other teams. Yes, we can bring world-class players in from around the world but we want one of our own to be performing on that Old Trafford pitch, whether it’s a centre-forward, a winger, a defender… we need players to come through the ranks. That’s a massive part of the United history.”
Mourinho is regularly alleged to have no faith in youth, depending on on big-money signings rather than laying foundations for the future. Giggs – the most successful figure to emerge from the United academy and now Van Gaal’s assistant – believes the principles founded by Sir Matt Busby in the 1940s will not be allowed to fade at the Theatre of Dreams.
“I think it’s special because you know we’re a club that gives youth a chance and that again goes back to Sir Matt’s days,” he added.
“The fans demand it, they want to see players come through the system, one of their own, and they give you a little bit of leeway in that respect. If you have a misplaced pass or you miss a chance they’re a lot more forgiving because you’re one of them. Just like them you’re a supporter. So it is very special when a young player comes through and establishes themselves in the first team.
“Sir Matt was obviously the person who started that success and that generation where you blood young players from the local area or other parts of the UK and that tradition has carried on right to this day. The fans demand it because they want to see young players come through, they want to see one of their own, together with world-class players from around the world.”
According to latest reports, Mourinho has reportedly agreed a verbal agreement to take over in May.