Norman Whiteside believes opportunities still exist for teenagers to make their mark at the highest level as they are being given the best grounding at the top clubs.
The former United hero, who made his debut as a 16-year-old and played in the 1982 World Cup finals for Northern Ireland after his following birthday, does appreciate that an influx of foreign signings has affected the number of youth products being blooded in the Barclays Premier League in recent years.
However, speaking to promote the Charity Challenge at Carrington on 22 June, he believes those with the highest ability levels will still rise to the top.
When asked by ManUtd.com if it's harder for Academy prospects to graduate at a young age because of the physical demands of the Premier League, Whiteside replied: "No, actually I don't. It's better in today's game because of the training and the facilities.
"Every team, and certainly the top teams, have got Academies with unbelievable facilities. I'm a podiatrist, so people like that, dietitians and the top physios. All the big clubs have got the best environment where you can manage youngsters coming through so they've got no excuses in my book.