Home » Darren Fletcher: Manchester United have exciting youth prospects

Darren Fletcher: Manchester United have exciting youth prospects

by Marwan Harraz
Darren Fletcher

Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher covered a range of topics in the fan forum, including academy talents, his role at the club, and Eric Ramsay’s abilities.

Fans have been given a much-needed update on what’s going on behind the scenes as many have struggled to understand the inner workings of the club.

According to the club’s official website, Fletcher said: “That pipeline of Academy talent is a massive part of who we are as a club. Anthony [Elanga] has done brilliantly since he broke into the first team, and Hannibal has also been more involved in the squad recently.

“I’m working closely with Nick Cox, as Head of Academy, to look at the long-term strategy for bringing players through.

“We have to manage the balance between allowing them to develop and creating the right steps for that, without piling the pressure onto them.”

“We currently have 13 young players and Academy products on loan and playing regularly in other divisions or leagues.

“Hopefully, we’ll see players like Brandon Williams, Teden Mengi, Jimmy Garner, Ethan Laird, Tahith Chong and Amad reap the benefits of that.

“All of them are doing really well on loan and we’re excited to bring them back in pre-season to see how they fare with our first-team players.”: Fletcher said.

Fletcher also stated: “With Ralf and his staff coming in, and Michael [Carrick] and Kieran [McKenna] choosing to move on, we had a quick transition process, so part of my role has been to assist with that, both on the training pitch and during games.

“I guess that’s been the most visible part for me this season, but that’s really an addition to my overall technical director role.

“It’s been a brilliant experience since I took on the role, the combination of long-term planning and contributing to our strategic goals, with the opportunity to still be close to the team and management.”

Fletcher added: “People only give the one narrative about scoring from set-pieces. The biggest reason Eric was brought in was because we were conceding too many goals from set-pieces. We have really improved our defending from set-pieces and wide free-kicks this season. Eric is a fantastic coach.”

Fans will love to see the encouraging words regarding the academy and the potential players who might breakthrough next season.

Jimmy Garner in particular is a player who might be needed most given the lack of options in central midfield.

However, there is definitely room for the likes of Amad and Tahith Chong on the flanks.

Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird can also potentially challenge for the full-back roles considering the uncertainties there too.

The centre-back position might need the depth of Teden Mengi if both Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are sold in the summer, as is expected.

Fletcher being transparent in the details of his role is particularly important after Ralf Rangnick perhaps too earnestly stated he didn’t know what his fellow colleague did.

Set-piece coach Eric Ramsay’s role has also been criticised after the players took a ridiculously long time to score from set-pieces this season.

Luckily Fletcher has clarified why that’s the case and it adds to reports that claimed Ramsay is now more of an individual coach rather than a set-piece coach after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s departure.

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