Louis van Gaal to give young players first-team opportunities on Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the United States

by Ben Topliss

Louis van Gaal has promised Manchester United’s young players that they will get first-team opportunities during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States of America.

Man United will take on Club America, San Jose Earthquakes, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain as part of the International Champions Cup in July.

Last term, United’s U21 side won the Premier League title and a number of youngsters such as Ben Pearson and Ashley Fletcher will now be keen to make the step up.

Van Gaal insisted he will make youth promotion a priority ahead of the next campaign.

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Speaking about his plans for the tour, van Gaal said: ”I shall take a lot of youngsters with us to the USA. They have the chance to show themselves and then we shall wait and observe how they can develop. You get your chances always, especially in pre-season and, when you grab that chance, you have maybe the possibility to join us next season.

“A championship for the second team is fantastic. But I think one player every year in the first-team as a line-up player is much more important.”

United have a rich history of promoting talented prospects to the first-team and it is encouraging to see van Gaal continue this tradition.

However, the Dutchman’s comments are bound to frustrate Tom Thorpe following his departure from Old Trafford. Widely considered to be better than the likes of Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett, Thorpe rarely got a look in during his time at United before being let go this summer.

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