Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reluctance to give starting opportunities to young players has been one of the biggest disappointments of his United tenure so far.
Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and James Garner have all featured under him, but only as substitutes.
It’s come to the stage where longer opportunities are needed, and a change of tact in the final fixture won’t make up for a missed chance.
So it is encouraging to hear Solskjaer come out and promise the youngsters will get chances in the Europa League next season.
Solskjaer told United’s official website: “You can sometimes use the Europa League as something positive, as Chelsea and Arsenal have done this year, as we did a couple of years ago when we won the Europa League.
“I am an optimist by nature and I will make the most of it.
“The kids will get chances to play games, that’s for sure. We’ll have to make something positive out of it, no matter what.”
Solskjaer has now confirmed this to be a viable strategy, and will be breaking a pledge if he goes back on it.
It really makes too much sense to make a U-turn on. Playing on Thursdays and weekends is tough, and saw United come unstuck in the league in 2016/17.
Managing the workload of key first team players is sensible, and United didn’t do it so well then. Giving young players a chance allows top stars to be fresh for the Premier League.