Ryan Giggs has insisted that promoting youth will always be part of Manchester United’s “philosophy” amid rumours that Jose Mourinho is set to replace Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.
Mourinho is considered to be the front-runner to take over at Man United in the event of van Gaal’s sacking.
This season has been one in which the likes of Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have impressed in the first team but Mourinho doesn’t have the best track record of placing faith in young players. Giggs believes that youngsters are a “massive part” of United’s history.
“I think it will always be part of the club’s philosophy,” Giggs said.
“It’s part of the history, it’s what sets us apart from other teams. Yes, we can bring world-class players in from around the world but we want one of our own to be performing on that Old Trafford pitch, whether it’s a centre-forward, a winger, a defender… we need players to come through the ranks. That’s a massive part of the United history.”
Giggs was part of the famous ‘Class of ’92’ who graduated to the first team at United under Sir Alex Ferguson and he opened up about the “special” experience.
“I think it’s special because you know we’re a club that gives youth a chance and that again goes back to Sir Matt’s days,” the Welshman added.
“The fans demand it, they want to see players come through the system, one of their own, and they give you a little bit of leeway in that respect. If you have a misplaced pass or you miss a chance they’re a lot more forgiving because you’re one of them. Just like them you’re a supporter.
“So it is very special when a young player comes through and establishes themselves in the first team. Sir Matt was obviously the person who started that success and that generation where you blood young players from the local area or other parts of the UK and that tradition has carried on right to this day.
“The fans demand it because they want to see young players come through, they want to see one of their own, together with world-class players from around the world.”
Van Gaal has been lampooned by supporters and journalists alike this season but his handling of young players has been exemplary.
It is important that Mourinho adopts a similar mindset if he does take over, although officials at the club will want him to bring success back to United first and foremost.