Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has challenged Manchester United’s academy players to replicate Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams and others and force their way into the first team this season.
The United boss has made a habit of promoting homegrown youth stars since he took the reins at Old Trafford in December 2018, with Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard among those who have been at the forefront.
United’s Under-23s are now competing with the best teams in the country. And although they lost to Leicester on Monday night, Solskjaer believes the future is bright at United, with players like Teden Mengi, James Garner and Hannibal Mejbri all tipped for the top.
The Norwegian is just glad that youth football is back on the agenda after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The whole of the academies in the country must be excited because we lost so many months of valuable time for kids to play,” Solskjaer told United’s official website. “So I’m happy we’re back.
“I think it’s been looking good and there are some interesting and exciting prospects there.”
Solskjaer was then directly asked whether he expects more United youngsters to follow the likes of Greenwood and Williams and forge themselves a spot in the first team squad in the coming season.
“I would hope so and think so,” he said. “That should always be part of being a Manchester United academy player, knowing the pathway is there.
“We, as coaching staff and as a club, will always give good, young players a chance if they go through the ranks, when you’re getting ready to get the chance to have a feel of the first team as well.
“Hopefully, some really improve over the course of the season and get in and around the first team.”