Erik ten Hag has sent a positive message to Manchester United’s young players and has assured them there is a pathway into the first team.
The Red Devils gave minutes to several youth-team protegees during pre-season, with the likes of Alejandro Garnacho, Charlie Savage and Ethan Laird impressing.
It’s often a challenge for players to make the step up from a few impressive friendly performances, to getting regular game-time in the senior side.
However, Ten Hag has suggested he will give youngsters the opportunity to progress this season.
Writing in his pre-match column in the Brighton & Hove Albion matchday programme, the Dutchman said: “I have also been getting to know some of our promising young players over the summer, so I will say now, for the record, that if players have the right ability and attitude, they will get their chance, regardless of their age or reputation.”
In total, Ten Hag played 12 youth players over the summer pre-season matches: Will Fish, Ethan Laird, James Garner, Charlie Savage, Zidan Iqbal, Isak Hansen, Hannibal, Shola Shoretire, Facundo Pellistri, Amad, Alejandro Garnacho, Tahith Chong.
Ten Hag’s pre-match comments were also backed up on Sunday when he handed minutes to Garnacho, who made just his third appearance for the senior side.
Anthony Elanga was brought on at the same time, a player who demonstrates United’s penchant for developing their academy talent.
Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford were also involved in the 2-1 loss to Brighton, offering further proof that the club will not always turn to the market in search of new players.