Louis van Gaal praises Manchester United’s youth policy

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has praised the club’s youth policy after youngsters Reece James and Tyler Blackett signed new contracts this week.

Blackett was handed his senior debut for Man United in van Gaal’s first competitive game in charge against Swansea City and has gone on to make ten appearances for the club.

James has been rewarded after impressing during United’s pre-season tour of the United States and on loan at Rotherham United.

Van Gaal is happy to see young players at the club breaking through into the first-team and revealed he was asked to improve this when he first took charge.

Speaking about United’s youth policy, van Gaal said: “It is the strategy of the club. When I came here there they told me that they wanted to have more youth academy players in the first-team.

“Also the rule in the Premier League that you must have a certain amount of players in your own squad is also important.

“I am happy that we can sign players from our youth academy.”

Along with James and Blackett, young players such as Paddy McNair, Luke Shaw and Adnan Januzaj have often found themselves in United’s starting XI.

It is good to see a United manager continue the tradition of placing faith in youngsters. The most famous example of this would be the Class of 1999 where the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville were brought into the first-team under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson.

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