Ten young stars who can lead United into a new era.
Sir Alex Ferguson has proved the ultimate master at building and rebuilding successful teams during his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford.
Whether developing a whole squad’s worth of academy talent – as he did in the early nineties – or buying astutely, Fergie has always seamlessly replaced quality with quality.
And although it seems as if the Scot will go on forever, the time will come in the not too distant future when Ferguson passes the mantle onto a new boss.
Amongst the playing staff, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes remain as reminders of past glories but, like their manager, their time is nearly up. A new generation, quite possibly under a new manager, will need to lead United in the future. We’ve picked out the ten youngsters best equipped to do so:
Phil Jones (20, defender)
Jones may be one for the future but he is also very much a part of United’s present. With his side leaking goals, Fergie will be desperate for the injured defender to return to fitness soon. Jones arrived from Blackburn in summer 2011 and made an instant impact at Old Trafford, wowing fans with his surging runs from the back and forcing his way into the England set-up.
Oddly, perhaps the only negative at present is his versatility: Jones is equally comfortable at right-back, centre-half and defensive midfield and is yet to settle on a position.