As the speculation around Jose Mourinho’s potential summer arrival at Manchester United reaches fever pitch, assistant manager and club legend Ryan Giggs has warned that the club will not change its philosophy.
Although Manchester United’s current manager Louis van Gaal is contracted to the club till 2017, talk of a potential summer exit has been growing over the past weeks. The Red Devils could finish outside the top four for the second time in three years due to their poor form this season and the board is likely to take action to arrest this slide.
Former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is the overwhelming favourite to take over, but the Red Devils also have another option in assistant manager Ryan Giggs.
The United legend recently spoke out about the club’s youth policy and its importance in terms of the club’s history and philosophy — words that were seen by the British media as a warning to Mourinho, who is not best known for promoting academy players to the first team.
“I think it will always be part of the club’s philosophy,” Giggs said, according to Manchester Evening News.
“It’s part of the history, it’s what sets us apart from other teams. Yes, we can bring world-class players in from around the world but we want one of our own to be performing on that Old Trafford pitch, whether it’s a centre-forward, a winger, a defender… we need players to come through the ranks.
“That’s a massive part of the United history.”
Youth of Old Trafford
Ryan Giggs’ words will ring true for United fans, who are used to seeing youth academy products form the spine of their senior team. It was a tradition started by the legendary Sir Matt Busby, who fielded the famous ‘Busby Babes’, and carried on by his successors — most notably Sir Alex Ferguson, who nurtured the iconic Class of 92′.
In fact, arguably the only positive of Louis van Gaal’s season so far is the number of young players he has brought into the first team. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Tim Fosu-Mensah have all shown great promise.
Jose Mourinho’s CV, although undoubtedly impressive, does not boast a strong record in terms of youth promotion and it would be reasonable to question whether the Portuguese would have shown the trust in United’s youngsters that his former mentor has.