One of the longest-serving players in United’s history believes new arrivals David de Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young will have the fans’ full backing at Old Trafford.
Legendary left-back Arthur Albiston says the home faithful could play a big part in helping the trio of summer signings adapt to their new surroundings.
Albiston told ManUtd.com: “Our supporters are renowned for giving people time. Of course, there’s nothing they like more than watching young players come through the United ranks into the first team but they’ll have similar feelings about Jones and de Gea, given they’re only 19 and 20.
“The fans at Old Trafford have loads of patience with new players coming to the club, especially young ones, and they’ll get behind them.
“Everyone’s going to make the odd mistake but our fans are very forgiving. I’m sure Peter Schmeichel would hold his hand up to one or two mistakes in his first season. That’s something that goes with the territory.
“The crowd will give de Gea, Jones and Young every backing and if the new boys perform as well as Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling did in their first season, I’m sure the supporters and the manager will all be delighted.”
Albiston acknowledges there are parallels between de Gea and the goalkeeper he made most of his 485 United appearances in front of, Gary Bailey. Bailey was also just out of his teens when he made his debut for the Reds in 1978 and, like de Gea, was effectively replacing a long-term number one at Old Trafford – in his case, 1968 European Cup hero and 1977 FA Cup winner Alex Stepney.
“De Gea’s in a very similar situation to Gary Bailey, who got into our side at a very young age and went on to be a fantastic servant for United,” recalled Albiston.
“I don’t know what de Gea is like confidence-wise or character-wise. But Bailey had a strong personality, with bags of confidence. And although he was thrown in at the deep end, he wasn’t shy about giving orders to experienced international defenders.