Manchester United’s new role for Nicky Butt can help academy players thrive

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Amidst all the doom and gloom of last season, one thing Manchester United will rightly point to as a sign of progress is the emergence of some of its young stars.

The likes of Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong featured in some shape or form for the United first-team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and it’s fair to say that the future is certainly bright with some of the Red Devils’ promising academy players.

Whilst United have always notoriously been strong when it comes to giving youth an opportunity, the announcement of Nicky Butt’s new position at the club will certainly raise hopes and expectations that the club will be in even better hands.

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It was confirmed that the United legend has been promoted to the position of Head of First Team Development, and he will “continue the strong bond between the Academy and the first team, to create a seamless journey for young players stepping up to the next level”.

Indeed, speaking after the news, Butt said: “Manchester United is in my DNA and this is a very proud moment for me as I take on this new role. I am passionate about nurturing, developing and coaching the talent we have here to become top players at this club.

“Under Ole’s leadership, our vision will ensure that we continue to provide the right environment for our young players to thrive in.”

As United continue to struggle to get deals over the line for the likes of Harry Maguire and Sean Longstaff, and face a year of Europa League football next season, the need for the club’s academy to really step up has perhaps never been greater.

Greenwood has already stolen the show on the club’s pre-season tour this summer, but it remains to be seen how big of a role he will play next year at just 17, despite Solskjaer’s comments about him.

The modern footballing world of instant success is demanding and often unforgiving, but Butt’s appointment in the new role should ease the transition from the academy into the first-team. The talent is already there, now it’s up to Butt to help make the most of it.

Article title: Manchester United’s new role for Nicky Butt can help academy players thrive

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