MANCHESTER United manager Alex Ferguson has achieved astonishing success with young players in the past and his current squad show signs of being another golden generation.
“We’re good at developing young players with spirit. It has always been a strong part of our club,” Ferguson told reporters after a youthful United team beat Major League Soccer’s ‘All Stars’ 5-2 on Wednesday.
Whereas Ferguson’s original set of youngsters, including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville, were British, the current crop features a sprinkling of imports.
Alongside defender Jonny Evans, midfielders Tom Cleverley and Darron Gibson and forward Danny Welbeck, Ferguson can turn to 22-year-old Mexican Javier Hernandez and 18-year-old Italian Federico Macheda.
The forward pair showed their quality with well-taken goals – two for Macheda – in Wednesday’s 5-2 friendly win over the MLS 11.
Premier League rules restrict squads to 25 players this season, meaning some, such as Wellbeck and Mame Biram Diouf could be loaned out to get further experience.
However, Macheda and Hernandez will be part of Ferguson’s first team attacking options.
The United manager has no doubt the pair have what it takes to be successful at Old Trafford.
“I need to keep Macheda and Hernandez, who just joined the club. That is imperative. There is a purpose there in the way they play their football,” said Ferguson.
“It’s not just talent. You don’t play at our club with just talent, you play with something, and they have got something else. I’m pleased with that.”
Hernandez’s pace is an asset that the United manager is keen to exploit but he says it remains to be seen what kind of partnership he could strike up with Wayne Rooney.
“The one thing defenders always worry about is players with speed. They always worry about the space behind them. Of course, when you see his goal, it’s an indication of that speed.
“How the combination with Wayne will work? I think we need to adjust a little bit to it because I think both could be similar types of players.
“There are still little things to do but not a great deal in terms of his technique and things like that. I think once he gets used to our training, he will be okay.”-—Reuters.