Manchester United’s under-21 side might just be better than the first team.
Warren Joyce’s youngsters secured their fourth league title in five years after beating Tottenham 3-2 at White Hart Lane.
First team players including Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young were quick to express their delight. Check out the reaction below.
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Where United’s youth team is thriving, the first team remains stuck in mediocrity.
Louis van Gaal’s side are four points adrift of the top four and a remarkable 17 points behind leaders Leicester.
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It will be a surprise if the Dutchman is in charge for next season but at least United can be safe in the knowledge that their academy is producing talent.
Evidence of that has been seen by the emergence of Marcus Rashford, the 18-year-old sensation who has been one of the stories of the season.
He’s scored seven goals in 12 appearances for the Red Devils in a debut season not to be forgotten.
And Rashford, hopefully, isn’t the last talent to come through.
Check out the reaction from first team players - and former Red Rafael - below.
In true United fashion, it took a 93rd-minute goal for United’s youngsters to seal the title.
Donald Love and Andreas Pereira gave Joyce’s side a 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes before Will Miller got Spurs back into the game.
Joe Pritchard’s late equaliser looked to have put the champagne on ice but Guillermo Varela popped up in injury time to score a delightful winner.
Sir Alex Ferguson would have been pleased.
The champions have United fans wondering why more youngsters aren’t in the first team.
Joyce for the top job?
After winning his fourth title in five years, it’s also worth wondering why Joyce isn’t up for discussion to replace Van Gaal.
He knows the fabric of the club and knows the academy system inside out. The only blemish is a lack of experience.
But Joyce certainly has more games under his belt than Ryan Giggs, who is being tipped as a possible successor.
United’s academy underwent a shake-up when Nicky Butt was appointed head of academy in February but Joyce was one man whose job was safe.
There were severe concerns about the state of United’s academy due to Manchester City’s growing habit of snapping up the local talent, but the under-21’s title win and Rashford’s emergence has proven that United are still capable of nurturing talent.
Upon his appointment as head of academy, Butt, who made 387 appearances for the Red Devils, told the club’s website: “It’s a privilege to take on this role.
“As someone who learned his trade in the United youth set-up, it’s a huge honour now to be given the chance to lead the academy and to instil its values and attitudes to continue to create future generations of Manchester United players.”