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“That connection is much better”- Erik ten Hag lauds Manchester United coach for the work done in club’s academy

Darren Fletcher of Manchester United Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Darren Fletcher of Manchester United Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised the technical director Darren Fletcher for his role in developing young talents

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag gave credit to Darren Fletcher for preparing the academy players for the senior team. United appointed Fletcher as the technical director at Man United in March 2021.

The Red Devils have struggled with an injury crisis which has kept many senior team players sidelined for long durations. Furthermore, new signings such as Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount have failed to make any impact on the senior team.

The situation provided opportunities to young talents such as Alejandro Garnacho, Facundo Pellistri, Hannibal Mejbri, and Kobbie Mainoo. Ten Hag has used the youngsters extensively this season and they have taken full advantage of the opportunities.

Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo has earned praise for his spectacular performance against Everton. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Garnacho has scored in the last two games for United which included a spectacular overhead kick against Everton. Mainoo made his first competitive start for the Red Devil against Everton and dazzled with his quality and maturity. The Red Devils won the away game 0-3 at Goodison Park as youngsters stole the show.

Speaking to TNT Sports(h/t Eurosport), Ten Hag praised Fletcher in bridging the gap between the academy and the senior team. He said:

“We improved the connection. Darren Fletcher plays an important role with that, his connection with the Under-21s and academy. That connection is much better than before. Now you see the results of it and you see young players often involved in first-team training and they got their foundation at the academy where they work day by day with good strategies and develop the players very well. We are happy with that and they are ready to train with us and we can make the next step with them.”

United have a rich history of using their famed academy and building world-class players that dominated the game. Former United players from the renowned class of 92′, who helped legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson dominate, garnered world recognition. The class of 92’ included the likes of David Beckham, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, and Paul Scholes.

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The Red Devils have continued the tradition of giving opportunities to youngsters from the youth academy ever since. Currently, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have established themselves as the first-team players who earned promotion from the United Academy.

Fletcher himself earned his way to the senior team from the United academy during his professional career. The Scotsman played a key role for the Red Devils under Ferguson and became one of the cult-favourite. It is fitting that he is the bridge between the academy and the senior team. No one has more knowledge than the 39-year-old which can help the new generation

Written by Siddharth Juyal

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