Ten Hag sees value in United's Academy

Saturday 29 October 2022 12:00

Erik ten Hag is enthusiastic about Manchester United's Academy and feels the attention given to the youth system is very beneficial.

In an exclusive interview with club media, to be released on Sunday morning, the boss was asked about this weekend extending the run of containing at least one homegrown player in a matchday squad to 85 years, providing there is a place for the likes of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Anthony Elanga, Alejandro Garnacho, Tom Heaton and so on.

With the Reds taking on another club with a respected youth programme in West Ham United, there is likely to be continued focus on this area, following Garnacho's impressive first start, against Sheriff Tiraspol, and the fact he is a member of the side that won last season's FA Youth Cup.

Explained: United's incredible Academy landmark


Sunday is a proud day for the club, as we celebrate an astonishing 85-year sequence.

“To be honest, I wasn’t aware of that but it tells you something, why I like clubs such as Manchester United," Ten Hag told us. "They give a lot of attention that they pay to the Academy and to teach players and build players, young players [to get them] into the first team.

"And I think, with those players, you can develop a culture, a certain style of play, because you have them long in your building.

"So it’s really important for every club but not every club has it – but Manchester United has it and I think it is of big value.”

Ten Hag has also handed Charlie McNeill a debut this term, in the Real Sociedad tie in the Europa League, and Radek Vitek, Tyler Fredricson and Kobbie Mainoo have made the senior bench for the first time.

Speaking at his press conference on Thursday, the manager also made a point about the youth products pushing for future opportunities.

"There is a good development from the youngsters," he added. "They have to close the gap and they have to contribute to the squad and contribute to our results, but they have to deserve to be in the training and deserve the chance and the opportunities here at Old Trafford."