Nicky Butt explains his aims with Man United’s academy

by Sam Peoples

Nicky Butt has outlined his ambition with Manchester United’s academy after being appointed as its new director.

Speaking in his first extended interview with MUTV after the announcement, Butt made it clear of his ultimate aim to create one club players – those who remain loyal to Man United for their entire careers such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

It’s a huge ambition but some of our highest ever appearance makers such as Giggs, Scholes and Sir Bobby Charlton are and Butt wants to replicate that within the next generation.

Speaking to MUTV, Butt said: “That’s what a Manchester United player’s job is – to make the difference. You don’t just come here to play 10 games and move on to another club,” he said.

“We want them to be here for many years. We want another Giggs, Neville or Scholes, these one-club guys who play here for many years and contribute to the club.

“That’s what our aim is. We’re very proud when they make their debuts, very proud when they have careers in the Championship and League One but, ultimately, the aim is to provide top, top class players for Manchester United that can go on to win the Champions League.”

United is a hotbed for talent and always has been but there hasn’t really been a world class player who has emerged from the academy and truly established himself in our side for some time.

There have been breakthroughs such as Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira but nobody who is a regular feature for us and that’s something Butt wants to bring back to the club.

He added: “Now it’s time to move forward and move the club back to where we feel it should be.

“We can’t stand still as a team in any area of the club. I’ve had reassurances about where we’re going so it’s all positive.”

I’m very positive about the Butt appointment and think it will be good for United. My only frustration was that it didn’t happen sooner but that’s in the past now.

As well as heading up the academy, Butt is considering coaching with the U19s and also bring in reinforcements to help encompass the role.

“It’s a massive job for one person,” he said.

“It may be for more than one person, so we are looking at bringing more people in to support me.”

Butt does have a huge job on because United’s academy is the heartbeat of our club and the flagship of our whole identity. It needs some work in order to get back to where it has been previously and Manchester City’s new academy has changed the landscape somewhat but Nicky can certainly be the right man to spearhead that reconstruction.

I’m excited to see what happens over the next 12 months but finally after a large period of stagnation, it looks like United are making the necessary changes to help reinvigorate our whole academy structure.

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