Ex-Reds midfielder David Jones believes Sir Alex Ferguson and the set-up at United has had a huge influence on his career.
Jones helped Derby County earn a place in the Barclays Premier League after signing for them in January and can now look forward to a return to Old Trafford on 8 December.
Jones, 22, told the Derbyshire Evening Telegraph: "It was definitely the right decision to join Manchester United when I was 10 because you learn so much.
"My education there was brilliant and I definitely wouldn't have changed it. You get the best coaching and the mentality of a massive club helps you perform. The standards set all through the age groups gives you a good grounding as a player and a person."
Jones also paid tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson. He said: "Alex Ferguson demands such high standards, how you conduct yourself both on and off the pitch. He rated me as a player but said to me he thought it would be the best thing for me if I were playing."
The midfielder captained United's Youth Cup winning team in 2003 and latterly the Reserves, but with massive competition for places in the senior squad, he felt it was time to move on and chase regular first-team football.
"They (United) offered me a three-year contract last summer but I didn't sign it because I've seen a lot of players stay at Manchester United too long," he said.
"I got to a stage where I needed to be playing every week."
Jones made 32 appearances and scored six goals for the Rams in their promotion-winning season. He added: "Now I have the chance to take my career on to new levels at Derby."