“We could have bought players in the summer for a lot of money,” he said. “But I didn't think they would have made a really big difference. They wouldn't have done what Cantona, Rooney or Ronaldo did for us. They wouldn't have given us that quantum leap."
So the focus has very much been on youth. “It’s one of our policies, one of our important policies, to identify young players that can grow into the club and develop here. We’ve always worked on the age-factor here. We have several players in their thirties, a few in the mid-twenties to late-twenties, and the rest area all young players who are improving all the time.
"So I feel it is the right policy for Manchester United. We’re good at producing our own young players and we’re also good at developing young players. The three young players sitting here today are part of that.”
Sir Alex says that focus may have to change, presumably when old heads like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar and Gary Neville decide to call time on their careers. “There will be a time when we look at the team differently if we need experience,” he said. “But I think we have enough experience at the moment. By getting younger players now – at 20 or 21 – they have time and we don’t need to rush them. They can develop to be the players