Manchester United are currently scouring the world for top class talent, and yet, Luis Van Gaal could have already have made his best signing in the little known Albert Stuivenberg.
The 43-year-old has just been appointed as assistant coach at Old Trafford, but it's at the Red Devils' Carrington training complex where he is likely to carry out his most significant work.
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A low profile character, with 13 years experience in charge at the famous Feyenoord, Varkennoord Academy, Stuivenberg has been widely credited with the development of the new crop of Dutch players who have been central to the national team's resurgence. Players such as Stephan de Vrij, Daryl Janmaat, Jordy Classie, and Bruno Martins Indi are key members of the Dutch squad and have all benefitted from his skills as a coach.
Legacy of quality
The Feyenoord Academy has been lauded by many big names in the game, notably Arsene Wenger, who claims the academy is, "one of the best in Europe." Indeed, Robin Van Persie, Jonathan De Guzman, and Leroy Fer are also graduates, meaning no fewer than nine players in the current Dutch squad have their roots at the Rotterdam outfit. It is small wonder, then, that Van Gaal has chosen Stuivenberg to work under him in Manchester.
Oversee the youngsters
It looks highly likely Stuivenberg will be given the brief of overseeing the development of the whole youth set-up at Carrington. Not only are his credentials impeccable at club level, but he led the Dutch U17s to consecutive European Championships in 2011 and 2012 and has recently worked under Van Gaal as U21 manager.
Commitment to youth
Van Gaal, in common with the heirarchy at Old Trafford, has always been committed to developing young talent and not just bringing in expensive, established players. This appointment, therefore, will be a key one for both him and the club. Manchester United have the likes of James Wilson, Jesse Lingaard, Tom Lawrence and Michael Keane who are all highly promising players and their breakthrough may depend on Stuivenberg's coaching skills.
Sir Alex Ferguson was widely credited with re-building United's youth set up in the late 80's, leading to the emergence of the famed Class of '92, and now there may be a major revolution about to begin, which will secure another generation of success at Old Trafford- and who knows, maybe, England!
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