If you wander through the corridors at Manchester United’s Carrington training base, you’ll be reminded of just how successful their academy has been over the years.
The walls are adorned by colossal pictures of former graduates such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Marcus Rashford, veritable role models for those young hopefuls heading out to train each day.
The talent keeps rolling off the Carrington conveyor belt, too. Brandon Williams has been this season’s outstanding success story, pushing his way into the first team, and there are plenty more where he came from.
However, United are aware they need to keep evolving if they are to keep producing players of enormous potential.
After all, the club has come in for criticism for its handling of the academy in the last five years. There have been accusations of underfunding, resulting in a failure to upgrade its facilities.
It’s also been alleged that before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford last year, the academy had been ignored by every manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
“I think that’s harsh on (Louis) Van Gaal and (Jose) Mourinho – and David Moyes to a point,” former midfielder Nicky Butt told MUTV.
“They didn’t come in to Man Utd and go, ‘Move [the Academy] to one side, disrespect Man Utd [and its traditions] and we’ll do it my way.’ They never did that – it’s a myth.”
Source: Goal Sport