To the left, Ryan Giggs gives a 13-year-old Danny Welbeck tips during training at Carrington. Just below, the pair share a high five during a UEFA Champions League match in 2011, both playing for the first team.
Manchester United have had a product of the youth system in the match day squad for the last 3,616 games in a row. It is a statistic that embodies the ethos that Manchester United finds its foundations – building from within.
From the Busby Babes to the Fergie Fledgelings, United have always placed a heavy emphasis on the development and promotion of the academy trainees that has created a unique environment for young players to thrive in.
We have a tradition of creating superstars rather than buying them. From Best to Giggs, Ronaldo to Charlton and Scholes to Beckham, the list of players that have worked their way up is phenomenal and the squad today is brimming with talent nurtured at Old Trafford.
Rafael, Giggs, Welbeck, Scholes, Cleverley, Evans, Fletcher – Seven first team squad members from our current squad that have worked their way up through the academy. With such talented players like Tunnicliffe, W. Keane, Vermijl, Lingard, Cole et al in our current academy, nothing is going to change any time soon. Long may it continue.