Manchester United’s recent boardroom reshuffle has seen Red Devils’ legend Nicky Butt leave the club.
Previously Head of First Team Development at Old Trafford, the former midfielder departs after nine years of overseeing the club’s best academy prospects.
It is work that has seen him draw plenty of praise.
Speaking exclusively to FootballFanCast, Peterborough United Director of Football Barry Fry suggested that he has “saved the club hundreds and hundreds of millions” with his “fantastic” development of youth.
It is difficult to argue with that assessment with as many as six Red Devils academy graduates; Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Mason Greenwood, Brandon William, Axel Tuanzebe and Dean Henderson, all forging a key role within Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.
Between them, those six players have racked up 571 appearances for the Red Devils’ first team, indicating the fantastic work that Butt has done in his preparation for senior football.
Meanwhile, he has also saved the club considerable amounts in transfer fees too, as Fry alluded to. The six players are all rated at £182m between them, with Marcus Rashford rated the highest at a price of £76.5m.
It could be imagined though that it would have taken even more for a club to purchase the England man, again highlighting the excellent work done in the youth system by Butt that the club have not had to fork out those considerable fees for new recruits.
Away from the players currently plying their trade at Old Trafford, the Red Devils have also certainly profited from individuals who have sought pastures anew.
In the time that Butt has been employed at the club, the Red Devils have raked in approximately £25m from the sales of academy prospects – the most lucrative being the departures of the likes of Adnan Januzaj and Sam Johnstone to Real Sociedad and West Bromwich Albion respectively.
It is a mark of the quality of Butt that United can earn such amounts from their youth prospects even if they do not have the desired impact with the Red Devils.
He is certainly deserving of the praise he gets then as he departs the club.