Louis van Gaal's youth policy makes him better for Man Utd than Jose Mourinho

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There's little doubt that Manchester United have been in a state of transition ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired from management three years ago.

The Red Devils dismissed successor David Moyes after just ten months in charge whilst the future of current manager Louis van Gaal is in considerable doubt.

Rumours have suggested Jose Mourinho could replace him yet United must avoid becoming a club like Real Madrid or Chelsea - who seemingly sack manager after manager at the first sign of trouble - and keep hold of the Dutchman.


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What Van Gaal has done brilliantly this season is show trust in youth, and whilst critics insist he's only done so because he's been forced to, it's because he genuinely believes in them.

United were once without 14 squad members because of injury, with stars like Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger still out at the moment.

However, upon watching his young stars prove they can compete at the top level, Van Gaal has kept them in the side and shunned his more experienced stars.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah, for example, has produced some very impressive performances in various positions, whilst the 18-year-old Marcus Rashford has scored seven goals in just 15 starts, including two on his debut.

There's reason to believe Mourinho wouldn't show the same degree of trust. The 53-year-old has proved his credentials as a top manager across Europe, but as Chelsea boss last summer, he let a whopping 25 players aged 23 or below leave Stamford Bridge on loan.

In fact, the only youngster he gave any first-team opportunities to was Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

As for Van Gaal, he handed both Xavi and Andres Iniesta their Barcelona debuts in 1998 and 2002 respectively, with the Spanish duo going on to become two of the greatest midfielders the game has ever seen.

Before that, at Ajax, the Dutchman was responsible for the emergence of Patrick Kluivert, who was the Netherlands’ all-time leading goalscorer until Robin van Persie surpassed him in 2013.

Even during his first season at United, Van Gaal afforded the likes of Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and Andreas Pereira chances to impress at senior level.


Whilst Mourinho virtually guarantees success in the short term, United are a club that thinks in the long run, suggested by Ferguson's longevity as manager despite four trophyless seasons at the start of his 26-year reign.

A key part of Van Gaal’s philosophy throughout his entire managerial career has been bringing through young players and giving them first-team opportunities.

The unearthing of gems like Fosu-Mensah and Rashford have ensured that United’s long-term future remains bright and could save the club millions in potential transfer fees, while the prospect of FA Cup glory and a top four finish is still on.

Van Gaal's overall attitude towards young players is in keeping with United's rich heritage and should allow him to see out the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.

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