Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it clear in Friday’s press conference that players from the academy would get first team opportunities this season.
The Norwegian brought on academy starlet Angel Gomes for just his second ever Premier League appearance during Man United’s 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day.
Youngsters like Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood and Jimmy Garner, who have all featured in match-day squads this season, are also viewed as potential first team players in the future.
Speaking at a press conference at Carrington on Friday morning, Solskjaer stressed that youngsters would get their chance to impress over the next five months.
OGS always says something that chimes with @ManUtd fans. Today it was about young players "As Sir Matt once said if they're old enough they're good enough. We're built on that tradition, we need young players coming through. We have top talents in the U18s knocking on door now."
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) December 28, 2018
There is no pressure on United or Solskjaer this season. Good results would be nice – the two wins so far, hallmarked by bold attacking football, have been enough to put smiles back on faces – but when it comes to meaningful concrete targets in May there are none. Top four is very unlikely. The Champions League is even less likely. Maybe an FA Cup run?
Supporters and the wider watching world know that, following the calamity brought by Jose Mourinho in the summer, what truly matters is next season, and how United prepare for the long term.
In the meantime, when has there been a better opportunity for the youngsters to enjoy some first team football?