Man United legend backing 18-year-old for first team - Bad news for Rafael and Valencia?

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes is backing Saidy Janko to break into the first team.

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes is backing 18-year-old Saidy Janko to become the next starlet to break into David Moyes’ first team.

The Swiss only moved to United last summer from FC Zurich and Scholes has witnessed his impact first hand with his involvement in the Manchester United youth ranks.

The teenager can play two main positions; right midfield and right-back, playing predominantly in a defensive role in his 11 appearances so far in the under-21 Premier League and the UEFA Youth League.

“Saidy has been fantastic since he came in and looks a bright prospect for the future. Hopefully he’s on his way to the first team,” said Scholes as per thepeoplesperson.

So what does Janko mean for the likes of Rafael and Antonio Valencia out on that right hand side?

Initially, he won’t dislodge either from the first team because the remaining games United face this season are hugely important and David Moyes is likely to use players with experience that he trusts.

However, Moyes has shown with the development of Adnan Januzaj this season that he’s not afraid to throw younger players in at the deep end of Premier League and European football if he feels they are good enough.

Januzaj has turned into one of United’s most important attacking and creative players, with several fans frustrated by Moyes’ willingness to protect him rather than subject him to the highest pressure situations.

If Rafael and Valencia can’t find some sort of consistency over the remaining chunk of the season, they may be vulnerable players to big money bids in August, whether they want to leave United or not.

Scholes is someone who still carries a lot of significance around Old Trafford and if Moyes has any doubts over anyone out on the right hand side, Janko could find himself expected to fill those shoes at the start of next season.

Scholes is arguably the greatest midfielder Manchester United have ever had so when he tips a youngster to break into the first team, that player must be half decent.

image: © Gordon Flood

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch