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Nicky Butt: Manchester United youngsters can emulate the Class of ’92

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt believes the current crop of youngsters at the club can emulate the Class of ’92.

Butt, of course, is a member of the famous Class of ’92, alongside Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. The six made almost 4000 senior appearances as a collective, picking up 100 major trophies in the process.

Now in charge of Man United’s academy, Butt believes another group of homegrown world-beaters can emerge in the coming years.

“The Class of ‘92 can be done again,” he said.

“Ability wise it definitely can be done again because some of these boys are better than I was when I was 16. They have so much more ability.

“The talent is there so it can be done again. There is no reason why it cannot. I would be really proud if it does. I’d love it to happen again.”

To see five academy graduates – all homegrown, all passionate United fans – scalp the dizzy heights of the beautiful game, winning quite literally everything, all in the team at the same time, just as they did at the age of 15, is something that I struggle to imagine happening ever again.

But one can never underestimate the capacity of young, exuberant talent – a fitting symbol being, of course, Marcus Rashford: a truly startling beacon of raw aggression and talent, seemingly unable to put a stop to his meteoric rise to stardom.

And yet, it should be remembered that, once upon a time, not so long ago, Rashford was just one of numerous bubbling young talents, waiting patiently for a chance to announce themselves to the first team. The likes of Axel Tuanzebe, Josh Harrop, Callum Gribbin and DJ Buffonge could all conceivably burst onto the scene in similar fashion.

It is, without doubt, an exciting time at youth level, with so many wonder-kids demonstrating their capability to break through the ranks at Old Trafford.

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