Friday 23 February 2018

Meet Louis van Gaal's 14 graduates from Manchester United's youth programme

The manager has given 14 former trainees first-team debuts since moving to Old Trafford in the summer of 2014 as he continues the club's tradition of growing their own talent

Jesse Lingard: Winger. Born: Dec 15, 1992, Warrington.

Made his league debut in Van Gaal's first match, the 2-1 home defeat by Swansea, but lasted only 24 minutes before injuring his knee in a challenge with Ashley Williams.

Joined Derby on loan in January 2015 following his recovery and scored twice in 14 appearances before making his breakthrough as a first-team squad regular at Old Trafford this season. Has scored four times so far in 15 league appearances in 2015-16.

Tyler Blackett: Defender. Born: April 2, 1994, Manchester.

Tyler Blackett has joined Celtic on a season long loan

Another debutant in Van Gaal's first match, playing as the left-sided of three central defenders in the 2-1 defeat by Swansea in August 2014.

Played 11 times in all in the Premier League last season as a centre-half or left back and was sent off in the 5-3 defeat at the King Power Stadium but left in the summer to spend the 2015-16 season on loan with Celtic where injuries and a lack of form have restricted his Scottish Premiership appearances to three.

Saidy Janko: Right-back/midfielder. Born: Oct 22 1995, Zurich, Switzerland.

Ended his Old Trafford first-team career after a mere 45 minutes when substituted at half-time in the 4-0 defeat League Cup by MK Dons in August 2014.

Moved to Bolton on loan in January 2015 and played 10 games for Neil Lennon's side before joining Lennon's old employers, Celtic, in the summer on a four-year deal. Suffered a knee injury in October and had only just returned to fitness.

Andreas Pereira: Midfielder. Born: Jan 1 1996, Duffel, Belgium.

Replaced Janko at Stadium:MK then had to wait six months for a 13-minute Premier League debut at Old Trafford in the 3-0 victory over Tottenham.

The Belgium-born midfielder, who was raised in the country while his father played for seven clubs there, has made five Premier League appearances off the bench this season and started twice in the League Cup.

Reece James: Defender. Born: Nov 7 1993, Bacup.

Reece James has joined Wigan from Manchester United

Full-back who made his solitary appearance for United in the Milton Keynes League Cup humiliation. Joined Rotherham on loan for the remainder of the season and followed his brother Matty, a former United trainee now at Leicester, out of Old Trafford.

He moved to Wigan last summer and has been a first-team regular in Gary Caldwell's back four.

Paddy McNair: Defender. Born: April 27 1995, Ballyclare.

Northern Ireland centre-back who was given his debut by Van Gaal in the September 2014 2-1 victory over West Ham. Has started 15 Premier League games in all but only three of them have been this season. He will be part of Michael O'Neill's squad for Euro 2016 despite his lack of first-team action.

Tom Thorpe: Defender: Born Jan 13 1993, Manchester.

Centre-back who captained England Under-19s and United's reserve side came on in the victory over West Ham as an 89th-minute substitute for Angel Di María.

Left for Championship side Rotherham in the summer but has struggled to make an impact since the man who signed him, Steve Evans, was sacked.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson: Defender. Born: Feb 2 1997, Manchester.

Left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (pictured) was praised by Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal after the draw at Chelsea

The left back and left-sided centre-back made his first team debut when he came on for Marcos Rojo and played the last 14 minutes of United's 2-0 victory over West Brom in November.

Injuries to Luke Shaw, Rojo, Ashley young, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian have opened opportunities in the full-back positions and Borthwick-Jackson has impressed in his 11 appearances in league and FA Cup - before inevitably breaking down himself.

Donald Love: Defender. Born: Dec 2, 1994, Rochdale.

Played for Wigan on loan for the first part of the season and returned to Old Trafford in January. Filled in at right back when Matteo Darmian came off injured after 37 minutes of the defeat by Sunderland in February then started the 2-1 away defeat by Midtjylland. The full-back curse continues - Love injured his hamstring playing for Under-21s on Monday.

Joe Riley: Midfielder. Born: Dec 6, 1996, Blackpool.

Came on at half-time for Borthwick-Jackson in the FA Cup victory over Shrewsbury and played another 79 minutes of the home victory over Midtjylland where he played with real grit and drive.

Can also play on the right and in midfield but has made strides in the Under-21 side at left back following Borthwick-Jackson's promotion to the first-team squad.

Marcus Rashford: Striker. Born: Oct 31, 1997, Wythenshawe.

Scored three times in the Uefa Youth League before bursting on to the senior scene when named on the bench for the Midtjylland home tie and finding himself in the starting XI when Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up. Scored twice on his full United debut and then two more on his Premier League bow against Arsenal.

Regan Poole: Defender. Born: June 18, 1998, Cardiff.

Signed on the same day as Anthony Martial in September 2015, but slipped under the radar because he cost a mere £100,000 from Newport County (which could quadruple depending on his progress) compared with the France striker's fee of £36m (rising to £58.8m).

A Wales Under-17 centre-back, he made his first-team debut for County at the age of 16 and made 15 League Two appearances before his transfer. Came on for the last minute of United's 5-1 victory over Midtjylland.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah: Defender. Born: Jan 2, 1998, Amsterdam.

7 May 2015; Timothy Fosu-Mensah, The Netherlands, in action against Connor Ronan, Republic of Ireland. UEFA European U17 Championship Finals Group D, Republic of Ireland v Netherlands. Sozopol Stadium, Sozopol, Bulgaria. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Dutch centre-back who filled in at left back as a 55th-minute substitute for Rojo in the victory over Arsenal, becoming the ninth United player to fill the 'antechamber to the treatment table' position this season so far.

Joined from Ajax in 2014 and United have used him in midfield in their Under-18 and Under-21 sides to hone his skills.

James Weir: Midfielder. Born: Aug 4, 1995, Preston.

Another of Van Gaal's 'one-minute men', who made is debut as a last-minute substitute for match-winning goalscorer Ander Herrera in the victory over Arsenal.

An attacking midfielder with an eye for goal, he was deployed as a full-back early on in his youth career during an injury crisis and adapted well. Now back in his normal role in the Under-21s.

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