Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup victory against Chelsea this week suggested a brighter future at Old Trafford. However, their impressive youngsters will only thrive if the right man is in the dugout at Old Trafford.
Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and James Garner are just some of the names tipped to excel at United long term. But Jose Mourinho was not the man to help them.
In fact, as long as the Portuguese was in charge, United’s next generation were more likely to stagnate than shine.
Thankfully, Mourinho has now gone and the players have a chance to express themselves.
United were once a club that gave youth a chance. But Mourinho too often focused on the old guard. He treasured strength over skill and persevered with under-performing and overpaid players.
Aside From Scott McTominay, Mourinho did not put his faith in any new academy products.
This generation of United youngsters could be the best since Fergie’s fledglings. And the board must ensure they have a manager to let them fly.
Whether that be Nicky Butt – who would be an exciting if risky choice – Mauricio Pochettino or someone else entirely, United’s next permanent manager needs to have faith in youth.
Only then will United return to their glory days, with the likes of Dalot, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw becoming the older heads to the next generation.