Troy Deeney has complimented the mentality of Manchester United’s academy products in comparison to other big clubs.
The 34 year old is currently plying his trade with his hometown club Birmingham City in the Championship.
It is there that the striker is teammates with United loanee Hannibal Mejbri and former United academy graduate Tahith Chong.
While speaking with The Times, Deeney said: “I always find the ones from United have the right attitude, I don’t know whether it’s about what [Sir Alex Ferguson] put in there from decades ago but the ones that come from Man United are always respectful, there’s a desire to be better.”
Deeney also compared United graduates to those from other big clubs, saying “it’s never about money with them. I’ve had people from Chelsea and other clubs and it’s money-motivated first whereas at Man United it’s, ‘I want to be the best of the best’. Even if they don’t go on to do that, there’s always that drive.”
Having played with a number of United’s academy graduates throughout his career, Danny Drinkwater was one he pointed out, saying “he earliest one I had was when Danny Drinkwater came to Watford from Man United, he wasn’t playing but was driving himself daily to be better and then goes on to have the career he’s had.”
Drinkwater never made the breakthrough at United but still reached the upper echelons of the game when he lifted the Premier League trophy with Leicester in 2016 and his earned a call-up to the England national team.
In the twilight years of his career, Deeney now sees it as his responsibility to help younger players, remarking: “my job now is to shape them and help guide them, on and off the pitch.”
With his chequered past and hot-headed nature early in his career, Deeney’s past could be something to learn from for the often ill-tempered Mejbri.
Lucky not to have seen red on more than one occasion, Mejbri has often walked the tightrope during his loan spell, picking up eight yellow cards.
Despite the Tunisian’s overexuberance at times, he is impressing for the midlands club and has notched three assists in 23 appearances.
The most recent action was in Saturday’s 1-2 loan to Preston North End, where Mejbri played for 62 minutes.
BirminghamLive rated his performance as “6.5 – His first 45 was a period to forget as he failed to impose himself on the game and picked up another avoidable booking. His urgency in the second half stood out from his team-mates and it was something of a surprise to see him subbed after an hour.”
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