Manchester United academy talents could make it to the first team next season, according to Ralf Rangnick
Speaking in a press conference, as quoted by Manchester Evening News, Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United academy players could very well feature in the senior team next season.
The Red Devils’ interim manager Ralf Rangnick is of the opinion that the senior team next season could have two, maybe three players from the academy. Few academy wonderkids have already been given a look-in under Rangnick in the final weeks of this season.
“There might be one or two, or maybe even three, where it makes sense to have them in pre-season so that they can also show to Erik [ten Hag] if they are already ready to play.”
Anthony Elanga, too made his appearances felt after Rangnick decided not to loan him out in the winter transfer window. Elanga restored his faith in the manager by performing decently on the pitch. Alongside the young Swede, a couple of other academy players have performed exceedingly well and could make the cut to the senior squad.
Young sensations Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez could now seemingly become permanent fixtures of the first-team squad. 17-year-old Garnacho made his debut against Chelsea just weeks before scoring a brace in the FA Youth Cup final win over Nottingham Forest.
“Hannibal has already been given his debut, so did Garnacho. But again it’s also about game-time, especially for those young talented players, they need to play on the highest possible level regularly.”
The defence has had a frustrating season by letting away a lot of goals. It remains to be seen if Luke Shaw and Alex Telles could be rotated with youngsters from the academy. Someone like Alvaro Fernandez who plays in the same position could make his debut against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Youth has always been the backbone of this great club, especially since Sir Alex Ferguson became our manager. That trend has to continue and Erik ten Hag, who has experience working with talented young players at Ajax, is certainly a good candidate to oversee the transitional process of academy starlets becoming first-team players.
A Summer Shake-up
With a significant summer shake-up set to take place under incoming manager Erik ten Hag, several academy graduates will be fighting for a chance to impress the Dutchman during that period.
With them performing well at the youth level, we could use this chance to restructure the team with a mix of youngsters and experienced ones. Also, the depth in the squad seemed to be missing this season and this is something that needs to be rectified before the next season kicks in.
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While we can hope the youth stars make it to the senior team and create an impact in the pre-season, it is yet to be seen if the new manager would fit them in his plans.
We can’t expect a team filled with academy players to lead us to trophies once again but the hunger, desire and passion these young boys show when given a chance in the first-team set-up is an asset ten Hag would be wise to utilise over the course of his tenure.