Manchester United need to improve their youth structure to help talent succeed

With the likes of the star-studded class of 92 coming straight from Manchester United‘s backyard, it brings up the question pondering on many fans’ minds: Will we ever replicate it?

Not to burst any optimistic fans thoughts, but it is unlikely the grass of Carrington will ever see shades of Paul Scholes, David Beckham or Gary Neville on it anytime soon, let alone in a single year. With all that being said, we must dive into the reasons why we may never see our highly rated academy prosper into the ‘ballers’ we once produced.

Once upon a time English football thrived under its academy system, this was no exception to one of the biggest clubs in world football being Manchester United. Unfortunately, as time went on the need to invest in youth for bigger clubs became less of a necessity when billionaire owners could open their wallet and sign the hottest properties around Europe.

This reason alone has seen many youngsters around Manchester United frozen out and limited to a lack of games either stuck in the under 23’s or loaned/sold to other clubs. Many of the youngsters you once thought were destined for greatness are now rotting away under failed loan systems or waiting for their big break behind a player on a 10 million a year contract.

Teden Mengi, the name sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Once sought to be a future captain for Manchester United, the young centre-back is currently on loan at Birmingham City and has only been selected in the starting XI 53% of his time there.

What about Ethan Laird? I am sure you have seen several compilations of the young right-back dashing down the wing, but since being recalled from a Swansea side he regularly featured in by his owner club, Laird has gone on to only play 40 minutes in two appearances at Bournemouth and has since fallen out of his manager’s plans.

Although these young players have not had the smoothest of sailings to the start of their careers it would be incredibly harsh to write them off with the main issue being the failure of a thriving loan structure by Manchester United.

This is all the more frustrating when you see what a good loan can do for a young talent. James Garner is one of few players that has had a successful loan from United in recent years, and he looks ready to challenge for a place in the squad next season. Unfortunately, these kind of loans haven’t been a regular occurrence for United in recent times.

In 2020, the club have brought in the likes of Alejandro Garnacho and Charlie McNeill to increase the strength in their ranks. Both are great prospects but United will need an improved structure to ensure that they have the best chance of achieving their goals at the football club.

We can all sit here and say that the club will not produce anything like the class of 92 out of our academy again, but we must wonder, are these players not living up to the hype or are they being failed by the club that once invested so much time into them?

With the likes of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Anthony Elanga in recent years breaking through to the first team and showing glimpses of our highly rated academy, it is vital Manchester United as a football club do right by these young prodigies. From a sustainable loaning structure to integrating them into the first team and furthering their development. It is essential that Manchester United get it right, not just for these kids but for the era once known as class of 92.

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