Ed Woodward has overlooked a complete restructuring of Manchester United’s scouting system by bringing in 50 new scouts since January.
The chosen 50, headed by Marcel Bout (Louis van Gaal‘s former opposition scout), will be spread out across the continent in an attempt to consolidate Man United’s status as a powerful source of young talent.
Under the previous system, a smaller group of scouts reported directly to the manager, whilst academy scouts operated as a separate entity. This new regime, however, brings all scouts under the same management, according to the Mirror.
The importance of giving youth a chance is fundamental to United’s DNA and refreshing our scouting system can only be a good thing.
Bringing through the youth has been entrenched in the club’s entire culture ever since Sir Alex Ferguson’s arrival in 1986, and United’s unyielding conveyor belt – which Marcus Rashford the most recent asset off the production – of talent from the academy serves as a source of immense pride for supporters. The presence of young, exuberant talent is greeted with a level of enthusiasm at Old Trafford that no other ground seems to match. Supporters, despite living in a ‘money-talks’ footballing realm, still genuinely encourage the emergence of youngsters.
A quick glance at the England call-ups from the past 12 months shed light on a commitment to not just producing youngsters, but producing youngsters that can deliver. Six players from United’s academy – Jesse Lingard, Tom Heaton, Michael Keane, Marcus Rashford, Danny Drinkwater and Danny Welbeck – have received call-ups in the last year, with Southampton – who have produced three – acting as the closest challenger.
One thing is for sure: that conveyor belt of academy talent is displaying no signs of stopping any time soon.