Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has reiterated his desire to give youth a chance while he is in charge of the club.
The trio were left disappointed, however, as they crashed out on penalties but the experience they gained could be priceless.
Van Gaal has always had a good record of bringing young players through to play at the highest level. He did it with the likes of Xavi at Barcelona and Thomas Muller at Bayern Munich and the youngsters at United will want to add their names to the list of success stories who have played under the Dutchman.
“It has always been part of my own philosophy and that of the club to give opportunities to youth players. Jesse Lingard is one of those players who was given a chance to play in the last three matches and he has taken that opportunity to show what he is capable of and to prove that he deserves to be a member of the first-team squad,” van Gaal said.
“I have been delighted with the progress that he continues to make, along with Andreas Pereira, who played against Ipswich Town and scored his first senior competitive goal.
“With advice from Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, I regularly invite members of the development squad to train alongside the first team. It gives them a chance to step up their training and to improve their technical ability.
“A good example would be Paddy McNair. He trained a number of times with the first team, which helped him prepare physically and mentally, so that it wasn’t such a big step when he was called upon to the first team.”
Jesse Lingard has been the standout youngster for the Reds this season so far. After coming on as a substitute against Everton at half time earlier this term the 22-year-old has impressed whenever he has been given the opportunity. The winger was one of the few positives for United to take away from the loss to Middlesbrough and he is working his way into the first-team squad.
United have always had a reputation of bringing young players through and giving them chances and it is good to see van Gaal continuing that legacy. The manager might not have the players playing the sort of football Old Trafford is used to seeing but having youngsters coming through the ranks will always please the supporters.