Sir Alex Ferguson believes a recent rule change will give Manchester United the opportunity to create another crop of homegrown talent at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils enjoyed huge success in the mid-to-late 90s as a group of young English players – David Beckham, the Neville brothers, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes to name just a few – graduated from the club’s youth system to the senior ranks.
Some Football League clubs have been vocal in their criticism of the changes that were agreed to the Elite Player Performance Plan, which abolished the ’90-minute rule’. That had stopped top clubs from bringing a junior to their academy if they lived more than an hour-and-a-half from the club’s training ground.
Ferguson believes that the old rule restricted English talent from developing to their full potential however, and now hopes to play a part in developing some of the country’s best young talent in a similar way to the past.
"It became physically impossible to find six or seven players a year so close by, we decided to change the priorities of our scouting system,” the Scot told FIFA.com.
"It wasn't like that before, which was how we were able to sign such fantastic young lads. As a result, we started to bring in very talented players from abroad and we've had success that way.
"In terms of developing players from within the club, it's been a long time since we produced a player of David Beckham's calibre.
"I'm very optimistic we'll be able to get the production line we had in the past going again."
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