Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs has said developing young players will always be a part of the club’s philosophy.
United boss Louis van Gaal has given debuts to 14 academy graduates since his appointment in 2014, but Jose Mourinho — the bookmakers’ favourite to be the club’s next manager — has been criticised in the past for failing to develop youngsters.
Speaking to Inside United, Giggs said: “I think it [bringing through younger players] will always be part of the club’s philosophy.
“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.”
He added that the United crowd were more sympathetic towards the club’s youth products, explaining: “If you have a misplaced pass or you miss a chance, they’re a lot more forgiving because you’re one of them.”
Welshman Giggs made his United debut against Everton at Old Trafford in March 1991, and said coming through the ranks had made that day easier for him.
“It probably wasn’t as daunting as it was for a lot of other players because I’d grown up at the club and had been here since I was 12 and played on the pitch many times for the youth team and reserves,” he added.
“So I wasn’t starstruck or in awe of Old Trafford — I was fortunate that I had grown up in the surroundings.”