Louis van Gaal has revealed how he held talks with the Glazers and Ed Woodward about upholding the traditions of youth at Manchester United right back at the beginning of his tenure as manager.
The Dutchman has given over 20 Man United academy graduates a debut during the last two season and one of the latest players to do that, Marcus Rashford, has been central to a mini-renaissance of sorts over the last four games.
While there has been a lot of frustration over United under van Gaal, his policy of bringing through the youth has been heralded and it’s clear that was a key reason why he was brought in.
“I had two maiden speeches with them, two conversations, first with Ed and later with the owners,” van Gaal told ManUtd.com.
“They have said what the culture is of Manchester United and why they want me. One of the reasons was that. I used a lot of players also on the tour in America and on the tour last year. You need also the luck that youngsters are performing at that level.
“It’s not always the case and, when you see how many players I give the chance to show themselves, at the end only two are three players are finishing as a player of Manchester United. But, when you have me as the manager, you have a lot of chances.”
In recent years there haven’t been as many players who have progressed through our academy to become first-team regulars. We’ve had Andreas Pereira and Adnan Januzaj but they are two prime examples of players who are yet to really cement themselves. However, it looks like there has been a turning point.
Rashford’s incredible start means he’ll now be in and around the first-team for the rest of the season, Guillermo Varela has started four consecutive games at right-back and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson‘s rise this year has been excellent. There are now a crowd of youngsters who look like they can become vital members of the squad which is a really positive thing.
For United moving forward, whoever replaces van Gaal will have to adhere to this same policy and that’s mine – and many fans’ – main concern with Jose Mourinho because he’s not renowned for doing that. Would he change for United? I think so, it’s his dream job, but it still remains to be seen as to whether he will be brought in this summer or not.