Monday 5 December 2016

Head of Manchester United youth development to retire after becoming disillusioned with club's policy - reports

Published 15/01/2016 | 10:15

Players like Jesse Lingard came from Derek Langley's youth system
Players like Jesse Lingard came from Derek Langley's youth system

Manchester United's head of youth development is to quit the club at the end of the season after becoming disillusioned with the state of the academy, according to reports.

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The Times has claimed that Derek Langley, who has been on the United staff for 16 years, will leave due to frustration at working under club secretary John Alexander and John Murtagh, who have headed up the academy since the departure of Brian McClair last summer.

Langley has been responsible for overseeing the development of players such as Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Adnan Januzaj, but is reportedly unhappy at having restrictions imposed on him when it comes to player recruitment.

There has been a dearth of players emerging from the United academy and holding down a regular first team place in recent seasons, something which had led the club to undertake a review of their youth development programme.

Tyler Blackett began last season in the United line-up only to fall out of favour and end up on loan at Celtic, while fellow defender Paddy McNair has been only a bit-part player.

Jesse Lingard has been the most successful local boy in recent seasons: he has made eight Premier League appearances this campaign, scoring twice - most recently in the 3-3 draw with Newcastle.

Langle's exit would represent another blow to United, who are facing a potentially tumultuous summer. Louis van Gaal's future remains a source of speculation, as United struggle to convince in their pursuit of a top-four finish and with widespread criticism of the style of play at Old Trafford.

There is reported to be concern among other members of the academy staff that youth development is not being prioritised by the club and its chief executive Ed Woodward, who are more interested in pursuing marquee signings.

Former United players such as Robin van Persie, Phil Neville and Darren Fletcher have enrolled their sons with the academy at Manchester City, whose new campus next to the Etihad Stadium is widely admired.

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