Man United’s Ferguson: We’re not far off Barcelona in producing young stars

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Red Devils' youth system is "not far off" Barcelona's La Masia

danny welbeck
Danny Welbeck penned a new four-year deal at Old Trafford in August Photo: Football.ua, via Wikimedia

danny welbeck

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United are “not far off” Barcelona in terms of producing young stars.

The 70-year-old is currently blooding in the latest batch of Red Devils youngsters, with Tom Cleverley, Rafael da Silva and Danny Welbeck becoming first-team regulars over the past 18 months.

The United manager also handed Michael Keane, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Scott Wootton a chance to impress in their 2-1 victory over Newcastle United in the Capital One Cup a fortnight ago.

With United producing David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes in the 1990s, Ferguson believes the Old Trafford outfit have had the best youth system in the country.

“Absolutely. Over the years, we’ve been as good as anyone in the country, probably the best, at doing that,” Ferguson told United’s website.

“You look at the way Barcelona have produced players and we’re not far off that.

“We’ve had so many players come through down the years and, more recently, we’ve had the likes of Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Rafael come into the first team.

“Then you’ve got players like Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jesse Lingard and Michael and Will Keane, who are all part of a successful youth team.

“They’re progressing very well. So we’re still good at it [developing young players] and we enjoy seeing them come into the first-team squad.”

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