Manchester United’s run of good form has largely been inspired by their young academy products who have stepped up to the plate in the absence of the regular first-team players. However, manager Louis van Gaal feels that it is far too early to start comparing them with the legendary Class of ’92 batch.
The class of ’92 batch is fondly remembered by Manchester United fans for providing them with a strong core in a team that would go on to become one of the most successful in the Red Devils’ history. David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers would go on to script a successful career at Manchester United — the highlight being the treble winning season of 1998-99.
With the current crop of academy youngsters breaking into the first team, there has been talk of history repeating itself. But manager Louis van Gaal has dismissed such comparisons as he believes that they have a long way to go to prove themselves.
“I cannot predict that. Scholes, Giggs, the Neville brothers and Nicky Butt have already proved themselves. They were champions and so on,” said the Dutch manager, according to fourfourtwo.com.
“These guys are on the threshold of a new career and I am not a god, so I cannot predict. But some of our players do have a lot of qualities.”
Old Trafford originals
Recent Manchester United starting line-ups for important games have featured several youngsters, thanks in no small part to the injury crisis that has left most of the regulars unfit to play. While Jesse Lingard managed to break into the team even when the squad was fully fit, the likes of Marcus Rashford, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Guillermo Varela and Timothy Fosu-Mensah were all third or fourth choice players in their respective positions.
However, they have stepped up and risen to the challenge. While Rashford announced himself by scoring four goals in his first two games, Varela and Borthwick-Jackson have been solid as full-backs and Fosu-Mensah is holding his own in the center of the defence. If they continue developing and deliver on the promise that they have shown, Manchester United may once again boast a world class core of homegrown players.