Louis van Gaal believes one of the main reasons Manchester United approached him to become manager was because of his proven record in promoting young players.
So far in his short time at United, Van Gaal has given the likes of Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard their senior debut at United and there are a host of other players like James Wilson who are eager to get their opportunities too.
A point Van Gaal wanted to make clear was that as 14 players left United and only six joined, those remaining eight spots were available to youngsters.
“We bought five players and one player is on loan here,” he said.
“Maybe we can buy him next season – that’s Falcao. We let 14 players go so how do I fit these players in? It is not so difficult.
“When you let 14 players go and only six come in their place, we need also the youth education and that is also the policy of Manchester United.
“When you don’t let players go to other clubs, then you are never allowed to give a youth player a chance and, because of this policy, we gave youth players a chance.
“But the question is if they take the chance. It’s more risky, of course, but I think it’s the only way to do it at Manchester United, who have always had homegrown players in the squad. So that’s the only way to do it.”
Van Gaal’s words about Danny Welbeck not being up to United’s standard will serve as a message for the youngsters – either you work hard to make the grade or spend your career elsewhere.
Van Gaal continued: “More than eight positions are vacant and they are vacant for the youth. I have already used a lot of youngsters in the pre-season and also in the season. So I am always willing to give young players chances but they have to take those chances.
“I cannot do that for them. They have to do that by themselves. Our policy is like that. The possibility is there and all of the youngsters have to know that. I believe Manchester United have come to me because of that.”
With Januzaj and Wilson waiting in the wings to be given their opportunities with United’s first-team, it’s going to be exciting to see if they can match the demands Van Gaal has of them because if they do, they could go a long way at United.