Manchester United academy graduate James Weir feels it is a “great” time to be a young player at the club following the breakthrough of lots of youngsters.
players such as Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Marcus Rashford and Regan Poole have all made the step up from the U21s this season and some have become regular members of the first-team squad.
Weir himself also tasted first-team action having made a substitute appearance in the win over Arsenal in February and the 20-year-old insisted the young players at Man United are excited by the chance of first-team football.
“It has been a different season with so many players getting chances in the first team. A lot of our players have moved up from the U21s. A lot of us have had chances,” Weir said.
“That is a great incentive for all of us. It is what you need. To see mates you’ve grown up with getting opportunities spurs everybody on and lifts the atmosphere. The seniors playing in the reserves has been great. It is another reason why being a young player at the moment is good.”
Louis van Gaal deserves credit for the way he has shown faith in United’s young players this term. The only reason they have been able to break through is because of the small squad he has, which certainly has its flaws, but allowing youngsters to break through is certainly not one of them. However, the fact remains that the results and performances have not been good enough.
Looking ahead to United’s future, it is certainly a bright one with the likes of Rashford, Anthony Martial and Borthwick-Jackson as part of it and at a time where our academy is being criticised, it’s a welcome pat on the back from Weir.