Manchester United’s academy has produced the second most players currently in the top five European leagues, according to research undertaken by CIES.
With 36 players currently in action, 12 at United and 24 at other clubs, only Barcelona have produced more players (43 in total).
After United spent a club record £150m in the summer on new signings, the British press tried to paint the picture that United had ignored their traditions of bringing youngsters through but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Louis van Gaal has given debuts to seven youngsters this year in the first-team and is closing in on a single season record of eight which has stood for decades.
What has been forgotten by those who claim United have diverted from tradition with a big spending summer is that the Class of ’92 came into a side teaming with quality – Eric Cantona, Steve Bruce, Andre Kanchelskis et al. That mix of young, exciting talent was embedded and surrounded by established stars.
United didn’t have those foundations any more thanks to David Moyes’ reign and Van Gaal brought them in. Now, United have got the right mix of established and burgeoning talent that will hopefully take them into a new era.