One of the big reasons why Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has been so successful, and has left behind successful teams, if his policy to integrate youth players into his first team.
At previous clubs, van Gaal has debuted youngsters who would go on to be considered amongst the best in the world. The Dutch manager commenced the careers of: Andrés Iniesta, David Alaba, Edgar Davids, Thomas Müller, Holger Badstuber, Clarance Seedorf, Xavi Hernández and Patrick Kluivert.
Van Gaal has highlighted the importance of included youth in an interview with United Review.
The United manager said:
“It has always been part of my own philosophy and that of the club to give opportunities to youth players.
“Jesse Lingard is one of those players who was given a chance to play in the last three matches and he has taken that opportunity to show what he is capable of and to prove that he deserves to be a member of the first-team squad.
“I have been delighted with the progress that he continues to make, along with Andreas Pereira, who played against Ipswich Town and scored his first senior competitive goal.
With advice from Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, I regularly invite members of the development squad to train alongside the first team. It gives them a chance to step up their training and to improve their technical ability.
“A good example would be Paddy McNair. He trained a number of times with the first team, which helped him prepare physically and mentally, so that it wasn’t such a big step when he was called upon to the first team.”
Last season, Louis van Gaal gave 6 Manchester United youth players their debut. Lingard, Thorpe, Michael Keane, Pereira, Blackett and McNair were all given the nod to play for the first team.