With the emergence of both Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams in particular this season, there may be a hope that Manchester United could be on the verge of unearthing a group of academy talents similar to the famous one produced back in 1992.
The likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Phil Neville were part of that famous ‘Class of 92’, and went on to become house-hold names at Old Trafford.
One man who was perhaps less high-profile than the rest, but is now arguably as important as anybody at United, is Nicky Butt.
Having initially been the club’s head of academy, Butt took up the newly-created position of head of first-team development last summer – a role that sees him report directly to United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and allow him to work closely with the coaching staff in order to “help smooth the transition to the first team for those youngsters considered ready to make the jump”.
The Telegraph claimed that it was a hands-on coaching and mentoring role that “United hope will strength the club’s long-standing success in blooding youth team players into the first XI”, and that he would represent the “final bridge”.
In his time as academy manager, Butt will already be very familiar with some of the youngsters other than Greenwood and Williams who could potentially make the break-through into the senior side very soon.
The likes of Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, Largie Ramazani and Ethan Laird, amongst others will benefit majorly from the new role Butt occupies, and will be hoping he can play a huge role in the development of their careers.
If all goes to plan, then United could very well have the ‘Class of 2020’ on their hands before long.