Mourinho vows to introduce an Academy player every season
Written by Simon Austin — November 18, 2017
MANCHESTER UNITED boss Jose Mourinho says he aims to give a debut to at least one Academy player every season.
United have included a player from their Academy in every match-day squad since October 1937.
“I don’t want to be the one that breaks that and I think the next United manager – it doesn’t matter when he comes – should also try not to break it,” Mourinho told the Mirror.
“It is more difficult now than it was before, but I think it is good. I feel it like a way to keep a certain identity of the club. To keep that identity means, basically, we should bring a new player from the academy every season.
“You can bring someone to play 10 minutes, then the player disappears and then you can say, ‘Oh, 40 players have their debut with me’. But none of them are important. When I say 'bring', I mean (for them) to stay.”
Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are the most notable Academy graduates in the current squad, although Rashford was given his debut (and a run of games) by Louis van Gaal, while Lingard first appeared under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Mourinho did give Scott McTominay his debut as a sub against Swansea last April though - and his first start against Crystal Palace in the final Premier League game of the season.
The holding midfielder has made four appearances this term, although none of them have come in the Premier League.
“I think what is happening with (Jesse) Lingard and (Marcus) Rashford is now happening with Scott McTominay, because he is not going to leave the club any more,” Mourinho added.
“To follow a certain pathway is important. I am doing it with McTominay. Mr Van Gaal had the start of Rashford, I am having it with Scott McTominay and, next year, there should be another.”