Manchester United bosses are reportedly growing alarmed by the lack of quality players coming through the ranks into the first team.
United have a long and rich history of bringing in youth players from the academy before cultivating them into world-class superstars.
Some of the club’s greatest stars ever are a direct product of the youth system.
Legends like Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Mark Hughes, Nobby Stiles, Duncan Edwards and Norman Whiteside, just to mention a few, are examples of players nurtured and developed by the 20-time English champions.
In the current United team, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay are widely regarded as the academy players who have been established members of the starting XI in recent years.
There have been others who have had mixed fortunes such as Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, both of whom left Old Trafford last summer.
A worrying trend that has emerged is that players from the academy who break into the first team only enjoy a short period of success before eventually being cast aside.
Very few stars have managed to become lasting members of the first team for a prolonged time.
According to Alan Nixon, United are “concerned” about this pattern of events.
As per Nixon, the Red Devils have increasingly become exasperated by their inability to find talented players – a worry that was exacerbated by the U21s 8-1 loss against Bolton.
To remedy this, United are on the hunt for a new scout whose main responsibilities will entail finding youngsters between the age of 17 and 20.
There is an ongoing effort to revitalise the scouting and recruitment departments at the club, and the appointment of a scout with a keen eye is seen as a significant step in the right direction.
Ultimately, the aim is to create a pathway into Erik ten Hag’s set-up for the most talented and promising players who have shown they have what it takes to make it at the highest level.
At the moment, United boast a solid crop of young stars who are aggressively knocking on Ten Hag’s door for more prominent roles in his plans. They include Alejandro Garnacho, Hannibal Mejbri, Kobbie Mainoo and Dan Gore.