Manchester United have begun their transfer season by signing Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The influx of signings by the Manchester United boss could see playing time reduced for the youngsters. When asked on his youth policy in his first conference, Jose Mourinho replied: “You know how many players I appreciate from academies? 49. 49. 49. I promote 49 players from academies.
“Two factors that are very important on these records, because sometimes you promote because you don’t have another chance or so many injuries, you have to bring them in.
“The second factor is when you are not playing for big targets then it is easier to bring them up.”
The passion was evident, but will academy products (the already promoted ones) really play a major role in the squad?
Let’s find out…
An injury crisis in 2014-2015 season saw Paddy McNair promoted to the first team squad and he managed to deliver solid performances during the crisis.
The man from Northern Ireland was praised by the fans and ex-boss Louis van Gaal for his performances. But then solid partnership from Chris Smalling and Daley Blind last season restricted McNair to make only eight appearances.
The opportunities for McNair could depend on injuries to the first team players. The transfer of Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind’s performances last season could limit his chances, but the ever injured Phil Jones might give McNair some hope for playing time.
The Manchester born lanky player was promoted to first team squad last season and has made 14 appearances for the club. He won the club’s the U21 player of the year award last season and was awarded with a new five-year contract, keeping him at the club until 2020, with the option to extend for a further year.
Borthwick-Jackson registered his first assist last season and has given decent performances. The left back could see himself behind Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young and even Daley Blind at times, playing time could be a luxury and loan move can help the youngster.
The Brazilian midfielder made his debut for Manchester United in the 2014-15 season and has made 11 appearances in his tw0 seasons at Manchester. A good dribbler of the ball, his maiden goal from a direct free kick has caught eyes of the fans.
Although Brazilians have never created a lasting impact for the Red Devils, Pereira has started off well by winning the club’s the U21 player of the year award in 2014-15. But with ample of options in the midfield, a loan move would be profitable.
Another Manchester born player in this list, Blackett signed a professional contract with United in 2012. After loan spells to Blackpool and Birmingham City, he made his debut for Manchester United in 2014-15 season. Like McNair, injury crisis gave Blackett the opportunity to play.
But things haven’t been well for Blackett as he was unable to deliver decent performances. Reckless in challenges and lack of confidence was evident in his appearances. In his 12 appearances for United, he was booked for four times and was even sent off once.
In 2015-16 season, he was loaned to Celtic but failed to break into the first team making only 8 appearances. He could likely be the first player to face the axe.
A striker by trade, Will Keane had a good start as a youngster while playing for the reserve team. But after being promoted to the senior squad, he lacked the most important aspect of a striker, scoring goals.
He managed only 3 appearances in the iconic Red shirt. His loan moves to various other clubs haven’t been a success as he could manage only five goals in 52 appearances, which is nothing to be proud of.
Like Blackett, Keane might face the axe too.
James Wilson had a dream debut when he scored 2 goals in 2013-14 season, just after Moyes was sacked as the Manchester United boss. Previous to his debut, he was bagging goals for the reserve team and was tipped to break into the first team squad.
In the subsequent season, he managed only 2 goals in 17 appearances for United and then was loaned out in 2015-16 to Brighton & Hove Albion.
His progress wasn’t up to the mark as he managed five goals in 27 appearances for the club. Now aged 20, a loan move is possible or might even be shown the exit.
Adnan Januzaj was the only bright spot in David Moyes’ terrible campaign which was his first and only season at Manchester United. In his first start for the club, Januzaj scored twice as United came from behind to claim a 2–1 victory away to Sunderland. As a result, he was tied down immediately to a 5 year contract, expiring in 2018.
But the Belgian winger had a poor second season where he couldn’t manage a goal or assist in his 29 appearances for United and was loaned out to Borrusia Dortmund in the following season. He was unable to break into first team as he managed six appearance for the German club and made two assists.
Here’s what Tuchel said to FourFourTwo about his time at Dortmund: “A part of him was always still in Manchester and we just couldn’t help him cut this umbilical cord.
“He didn’t wholly embrace Borussia. He always compared everything with how it had been at United.”
The loan was cut short and Januzaj returned to Manchester, managing only 4 appearances. Aged 21, the highly rated Belgian has the potential to fulfil and David Moyes is reportedly interested to bring Januzaj to Sunderland on loan.
This could be a great chance and may be the final for Januzaj to remind his worth and break into future plans of Jose Mourinho.
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