A lot of focus over past weeks has been on the transfer policy at Manchester United and whether or not they will spend millions to improve a squad that some say – Wayne Rooney – is not good enough to compete for major honours.
Sir Alex Ferguson though is confident in the young players coming through and those he has invested in. He is very hopeful for the likes of Gabriel Obertan and Bebe citing the Portuguese for particular praise in a recent interview, “He is a good, young player who still has a lot to learn,” he said. “He still needs a lot of coaching but the raw talent is there. He is brave and quick, and for such a young player he is a good decision maker.
‘The chances of him being able to realize his potential are very good.”
His performances in both the Carling Cup and the Champions League have given those who criticized the player before he even played a first team game something to think about.
These more experienced young players have begun to make an impact at the club already. We are well aware of Javier Hernandez’s performances in recent weeks, performances that have turned him into a fan favourite, and someone who looks to have a bright future.
Gabriel Obertan has finally recovered fully from injury and is intent on cementing a first team spot, particularly at a time where you have Antonio Valencia out long term, Ryan Giggs increasingly unable to play as a wide-man, and Ji-Sung Park going through a slump in form, it seems the Frenchman has chosen the ideal time to find some form.
Anther notable summer signing has been that of Chris Smalling, signed after only playing nine games in professional football, but he has performed admirably when filling in at the back and is arguably above Jonny Evans in the central defensive pecking order.
Maybe the doubts had over the squad were somewhat premature.
Looking even further into the players we have in the youth and reserve ranks. Tom Cleverley who is very highly rated inside Old Trafford and looks set to be brought back to the club in January, “We’ll probably bring Tom back in January. Tom’s going to be a great footballer, I really like him.” Sir Alex is quoted as saying.
“I’ve heard the fans are starting to talk about Tom, and I think they’re right to do that because he could very well be the next top player to come through the ranks.” He concluded.
Lets not forget the Brazilian twins, with Rafael cementing a first team place at such a young age and Fabio struggling with injury but has always been the more highly rated of the two, the full back positions could well be sorted for many years.
In the reserves Magnus Eikrem has been lighting up the Reserve Premier League with some sublime performances and in my opinion is too good to be playing reserve football. He needs to be given more first team action, especially as we lack a little creativity in the middle of the park.
Notable mentions should go to Josh King who has recently been called up to Norway’s U21 squad at the tender age of 18 and Ravel Morrison, who has been touted as the most naturally talented player for the academy side, though his attitude has been questioned.
Then we come to Will Keane who has been scoring goals for fun at both academy and reserve level.
Maybe these players will make it, maybe they wont but one thing is for sure Sir Alex believes in it and as he said during the Rooney saga, “People don’t identify potential. We are very good at it. I have identified it all my life. I know potential. I know where it can be developed and how to develop it. I have faith in it. That is what this club is about.”
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