Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has moved to dispel assumptions that he does not give youth a chance.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has moved to dispel assumptions that he does not give youth a chance, and has revealed the three players he feels will made a big impact at Old Trafford in years to come.
As reported by Give Me Sport, the former Porto, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea boss gave more minutes to academy players than any other manager in the Premier League last season, although this statistic is largely distorted by the frequent appearances of Marcus Rashford.
Mourinho seems to be building for the future at Old Trafford, as the Europa League winners have added 23-year-old Victor Lindelof and 24-year-old Romelu Lukaku to their already youthful ranks this summer. They, as well as further youth players in the shape of academy players, are set to feature as United play Barcelona on Wednesday night.
The Red Devils have always been renowned for their famed academy, which produced the Class of 92', featuring the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Gary Neville.
Meanwhile, Mourinho, as aforementioned, has moved to squash talk of him neglecting youth:
"The reputation is the reputation, but the other day I found myself in the tunnel before the Real Madrid game and, I'm not talking about the second-half because they were kids who were 15 or 16 during my time there, but in the first-half more than half the Real team, which is their first-team because they were only missing Ronaldo and Ramos, all these guys started with me and had debuts with me.
"They came into the first team with me, they trained with me when they were 15 and 16-years-old. Nacho, Casemiro, Carvajal, Morata. Morata was not there, Marcelo was 20. Almost all of them.
"So probably in a few years Man United will also have half a dozen of these kids [in the team]. I think Scott (McTominay) and Demetri (Mitchell) are also kids to have a future in the club and Andreas Pereira is back."
The three academy graduates that Mourinho has earmarked for success, McTominay, Mitchell and Pereira, have all made their Premier League debuts for the club already, with McTominay joining the club aged five.
In addition to these three youngsters, the likes of Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe are all expected to play a prominent role in the upcoming season as United battle on four fronts, included a much anticipated return to the Champions League.