Louis van Gaal pledges to give more opportunities to youngsters

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has pledged to offer ample opportunities to the youngsters in his squad.

The Dutchman has been quick to award chances to younger players this season, with Guillermo Varela the latest to win a debut for Man United during the goalless draw against West Ham United on Saturday. The right-back replaced Paddy McNair as a half-time substitute to make his first senior appearance for the Reds, joining a list of players who have been rewarded by van Gaal.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was given his debut during United’s 2-0 over West Bromwich Albion last month, as well as Andreas Pereira making his first competitive appearance this season. Van Gaal has placed his faith in the youngsters, with Jesse Lingard becoming a regular fixture in the starting line up over the past couple of months.

Van Gaal has been happy with his squad this season: “I have been pleased with the progress of the younger players when they’ve been called to train with the first-team squad so I am not afraid of using them if required.

“A number of those youngsters and other members of the first-team squad took part in the Under-21s’ 3-2 victory over Liverpool.”

United are entering the busy run of festive fixtures towards the end of this month and their involvement in the FA Cup will add to the players workload early in January. With injuries plaguing the squad, the manager will be counting on the depth of his side to help him through the season.

He added: “It was important to keep their match rhythm going into this busy period, and with the current injury list, all the players that are fit will need to be ready when they are called upon.”

On many occasions this season, United have looked predictable and slow, especially when going forward. Some of the youngsters in the squad could definitely help change that, something we have already witnessed with the rise to prominence of Jesse Lingard.

The players who have been given the chance in the first team have not disappointed and United fans have been happy to see the club’s culture of bringing through young, promising footballers not being compromised.

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