Sir Alex Ferguson has stated that he will only look to add just the one player to his United squad this summer, and put his trust in the youth development system once again. But, is the United boss right to do so?
Manchester United have been linked with a number of players this summer which includes the likes of Milos Krasic of CSKA Moscow, James Milner and Luka Modric.
Fergie would have been expected to splash the cash by the Old Trafford faithful in the summer, but the united boss feels his current squad is already well balanced and strong enough to reclaim the premier league title next season.
Ferguson told the gathering media yesterday of the current transfer window:
“There may be one signing and maybe we’d like to get a good player to the club, of course, but it’s not easy in the present day climate and I’ve nothing definite to tell you because we’re still assessing whoever’s available and the difficulties in terms of who you’d bring in.”
Prior to the window officially opening, Fergie has already acquired England Under-21 defender Chris Smalling from Fulham, and rising Mexican star Javier Hernandez from Guadalajara, both on pre-contract agreements.
Chief executive David Gill has indicated that funds will be available in the summer, but Fergie has decided to rely on youth development rather than spend on a superstar. The Scotsman claims he is happy with the blend of existing stars and young players, he also stated that his reserve players are more than capable of stepping up to the challenge as well. Ferguson told the media of his policy:
“In the market today it’s very, very difficult and the structure of our squad is good in terms of ages, the balance, the numbers and there’s a lot of good young players.”
He moves on to say:
“Sometimes you have to trust in all the development of the last few years and I’m going to stick with that, or most of it.”
So is Fergie right to give the youth a chance in the upcoming years? Well, he has done it before so there is no reason why he can’t fashion it again. The United boss has produced and promoted a cluster of players from the youth squad in the past, and they have all become great in their own rights (both at club and country level). Fergie entrusted and brought in the likes of David Beckham, Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes through the youth development. All of which have shined brightly at Old Trafford, in the premier league and abroad.
With the premier league adapting to changes every year, next years regulations will be the most daunting for some (if not all) premier league managers. Next season each squad must have a squad limit of 25 players, 17 of which can be over the age of 21 and not home-grown. This leaves 8 spaces for home-grown talent, which every squad must have from next season onwards. Fergie would have taken this into consideration, and as a result, has decided against big signings this summer.
David Gill spoke on the matter saying:
“There will be unlimited Under-21’s and other rules and we’ll be taking all that into consideration” (various)
After Ben Foster’s recent departure to Birmingham City in the week, Fergie has said he will not replace the English goalkeeper with a new signing, instead, he would look to promote England Under-21 keeper Ben Amos.
United do have a number of good youth players being produced, the likes of Federico Macheda, Danny Welbeck, Matthew James, Tom Cleverly and Ritchie De Laet are just a few names on this list. All these youth players have played in the United first team at some stage in their career, and will look to do so in the future providing Fergie lets them.
Youth development cannot be stopped, and the sad thing about it is that many clubs in England don’t give them a chance to showcase their talent enough. Fergie is willing to do this, and for that you have to tip your hat off to him. However, can the new wave of ‘Fergie fledglings’ reach the same heights as others have in the past? Well, we’ll soon find out according to Fergie.
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