Will David Moyes give United's youngsters the chance to impress next season?
David Moyes may not officially start his job as Manchester United’s new manager until 1 July, but being given a future start date for such a role is akin to putting presents under a Christmas tree and expecting children not to shake them.
The truth is, from the second Moyes was appointed he has been eager to get started.
And having already been working behind the scenes, restructuring the coaching staff and no doubt having his say on the club’s first transfer of the summer – Uruguayan defender Guillermo Valera – he has now spoken about the job ahead.
Addressing the audience at a New York coaching conference last week, Moyes spoke about his management style and what he expects of his players. But amidst all the insight into his beliefs and expectations, one sentence stood out.
“I’m a great believer in giving young players opportunities,” he said.
And he most certainly is, as the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman can testify.
They are just a few of the young men who have benefited from the clichéd but crucial belief that if you are good enough you are old enough.
And as the United squad prepare for Moyes' first official day on the job, there will be some who should take that quote from the new manager and run with it.
Players like Nick Powell, Adnan Januzaj and Larnell Cole – who may have expected to spend next season on loan and yet who may, just may, get the chances they crave in the United first team sooner than they thought.
Powell is the most likely to make that breakthrough next season. Having arrived after an outstanding campaign with Crewe, and with a reputation as an England great in the making, the 19-year-old went from star-of-the-show to rarely-spotted. So much so that I have previously written a piece on where he will be on loan next season, so certain was I of a lack of first-team opportunities at Old Trafford.
And yet Powell is exactly the kind of player who can impress Moyes, earn a chance and never look back. He really is that good.
Others hoping to make the breakthrough include members of the triumphant Under-21 Premier League side Januzaj and Cole, the former having already been given a squad number at the end of last season, and the latter scoring a hat-trick in the semi-final and a brace in the final.
Both players are likely to be involved with the first team in pre-season, and coming off the back of such an impressive Under-21 campaign, both have the ability and the confidence to leave those days behind them.
Of course with any young player it takes time, and should any or all of the trio be high in the manager’s thoughts, expect them to dip their toes in the water rather than be thrown in at the deep end.
But Moyes has made it very clear he will give young players a chance if he deems them good enough. It is now over to them to prove that they are…