Worrying times for United, says former youth team graduate.
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes is concerned that Manchester City have moved ahead of his old club in terms of youth development, he writes in his column for the Independent.
The former England midfielder was himself a graduate of United’s youth academy in his days at Old Trafford, and went on to become one of many highly successful players to then make the step up to the first-team.
However, despite the likes of Tyler Blackett, Paddy McNair and James Wilson coming through for United this season, Scholes believes parents in Manchester would now look to send their kids to City to develop, with the recent development of a £200m training academy furthering City’s progress as a force at this level.
Although the Etihad Stadium club are known for their big spending in the transfer market, they have made a real statement of intent by investing huge amounts in youth, and Scholes feels this will prove a good move by the club.
“When I was a kid, it was the case among the lads I played football with that if Manchester United wanted to sign you then joining Manchester City was not even a consideration,” he said. “United did not have to persuade or offer inducements. We would have walked there ourselves.
“Thirty years on, and the picture in Manchester is very different and, as a United fan, it worries me. Trying to look at it from a neutral perspective I have to say that what City have achieved is impressive and their impact on the youth scene in Manchester began long before the opening of their City Football Academy this week.
“It has been no secret among people I know in football that City have taken great strides in their youth academy programmes, to the extent that there are even United players past and present who have, or at least once had, sons at City’s academy.”