Manchester United recorded consecutive wins for the first time under Louis van Gaal on Sunday, clinching a 2-1 victory over Everton thanks to goals from new signings Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao. The South American duo were part of a late spending spree from Dutchman van Gaal, but they weren't the only changes he made to the setup at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal is famed for having faith in young players to make an impact, with a host of talented players hitting stardom after working under him. During spells at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the likes of Michael Reiziger, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars, Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Thomas Muller, David Alaba and Holger Badstuber came through the ranks - and he's once again handpicked young players for his United team.
Defender Tyler Blackett first joined United aged just eight, but has made his way up to the first team following loan spells with Blackpool and Birmingham City, and has impressed this term - even though he got sent off in the 5-3 loss at Leicester City. In an interview for the United Review, Blackett revealed how it was his dream to play for United and that he had no other intention in life than to do so.
"My whole childhood revolved around the game and I always wanted to play professionally," he said. "I never had a back-up plan for what I might do if things didn’t work out at United. It was always about playing football for me and I was determined to make it happen. It was basically football or nothing, which might have been risky but that was how I saw it. Thankfully, it seems to be working out for me."
Having spent so much money on new additions, some players had to leave such as Patrice Evra, Tom Cleverley, Wilfried Zaha, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, but Blackett was kept and though some may be concerned at the large transfer fees being paid for players, the 20-year-old says that he feels proud to be working alongside some of the best players in the world - and said he wants to make the most of the chance given to him by van Gaal.
"It does make me feel proud. When you see the club spending money in the transfer window, some players might look at that and think they won’t get their chance to impress but I’ve never felt like that. This club always give young players a chance and I’m hoping to take advantage of that," he added.