This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on BT Sport, former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has admitted he feels sorry for the club’s youngsters.
The Red Devils have endured a poor start to the season, registering just nine points from their opening seven Premier League games. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men also produced a disappointing display against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday night, and Hargreaves has now revealed he sympathises with the situation surrounding the club’s academy prospects.
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He said (as quoted by The Manchester Evening News): “I actually feel sorry for some of these young kids because they have to carry the burden of one of the biggest brands in the world at 18-years-old.
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“Mason Greenwood, he is good, but he shouldn’t have to be in that position at 18-years-old. Even Rashford you could put into that category as well. These guys aren’t ready to carry the brand of one of the biggest clubs in the world and it’s not really fair on them.”
Whilst Hargreaves’ comments are entirely understandable, United simply don’t have any choice at the moment but to turn to their numerous academy products. The mess they have created in recent transfer windows has essentially forced them to use the likes of Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong, amongst others.
It is absolutely a sink-or-swim moment in their careers. If they can ride out the storm and come out the other side, then the experience they will have gained of playing under such intense pressure will stand them in good stead. If they crumble under the weight of expectation, then so be it. The Red Devils have no one but themselves to blame for getting into this position.