Former Liverpool and England star Stan Collymore has described Manchester United as an example for others to follow over how the side develops younger players.
United boss Louis van Gaal has handed regular appearances to his younger players this season which has fast tracked their development out of the club’s youth ranks.
“Manchester United are a beacon with their young players – They’ve stuck with Evans for years and have brought Blackett into the team as well as McNair,” said Collymore for talkSPORT last night.
Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair have found themselves in the side because of injuries to more experienced and higher profile players.
Blackett struck an instant connection with van Gaal in pre-season, while McNair has come into the side recently to provide balance in van Gaal’s defence.
The boss also deserves guts for starting young striker James Wilson in games ahead of players like Radamel Falcao, which is a decision that not many other Premier League managers would have made.
Blackett and McNair have both struggled at times this season, with the former sent off in the match against Leicester while McNair had to be subbed in the first-half against Southampton because he was struggling.
However, younger players are going to make mistakes. The important thing is how the manager works with them to ensure they don’t repeat the same mistakes which allows them to develop and learn with confidence.
There has been a lot of talk about a more experience and expensive defender joining United this winter, but van Gaal may well choose to show faith to his younger players and keep them in the team.
That will help to create the spine of the next Manchester United side, which new players can adapt to and build around.