The story of Louis van Gaal's Manchester United academy promotions

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Football News

At his first press conference as Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho defended his policy for youth players.

"I have promoted 49 youth players from Academies. If you want, I can give you that list," he said.

Many Man United fans took his word for it and felt reassured that the future of the team and the historical philosophy of promoting players from within was in safe hands.

Eight weeks later and all of a sudden, many of the youngsters Louis van Gaal received so much praise for placing his faith in during his two-year tenure are no longer at the club.

In fact, of the 11 significant members of the squad the Dutch manager brought through, only five remain.

United may have started the season with a 100% record under Mourinho but at what cost has it been to the some of the club's most highly rated teenagers?

Tyler Blackett

Tyler Blackett is the most recent summer departure from Old Trafford after he joined up with ex-Red Devil Jaap Stam at Reading on Monday.

The 22-year-old played in Van Gaal's first competitive game in charge and showed plenty of promise.

But he fell out of favour after being sent off in United's famous 5-3 defeat to Leicester in 2014 and never really got much of an opportunity afterwards.

Donald Love

Donald Love made three appearances in a United shirt and won just once during one of the most injury-ridden periods of last season.

Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian's return to fitness combined with Timothy Fosu-Mensah's rise, meant there would be very little football for Love at Old Trafford under Mourinho and he was shipped out to old United boss David Moyes at Sunderland, where he has started both Premier League matches so far.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

That brings us very nicely to Fosu-Mensah who earned plenty of plaudits for his late season performances.

His versatility at being able to play in midfield, full-back and centre-half is largely down to his talent with the ball at his feet.

Also very resolute in defence, the 18-year-old really caught the eye in United's win over Man City in March and he is still expected to have a very bright future at the club.

Guillermo Varela

The Uruguayan was another right-back utilised by Van Gaal but much like Love, failed to make the same positive impression as Fosu-Mensah.

Unlike Love, Mourinho hasn't totally kicked Varela out of the club as he has joined German side Eintracht Frankfurt on loan for the season.

An impressive campaign in the Bundesliga could save his future in Manchester but Moyes' very first signing will also require those ahead of him in the pecking order to drop out of form.

Paddy McNair

Paddy McNair looked very accomplished when he first raced onto the scene.

His capability to pick out a good pass from the back complemented his solid defensive skills nicely and he looked a great fit for Van Gaal's preferred slow tempo philosophy.

Mourinho has judged him differently, however, and along with Love, joined Sunderland a few weeks ago in a combined deal worth £5.5 million.

Marcus Rashford

What can be said about Marcus Rashford that hasn't already?

Barely anyone one had even heard of him 12 months ago but his stunning performances from February onwards earned him a call-up to England's squad for Euro 2016.

Regardless, this season will be a much bigger challenge as he finds himself backup to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The youngster will have to be patient and wait for his chance to come, while that may hurt his short-term England ambitions, learning off one of the greats will certainly benefit him in the long-term.

Andreas Pereira

Although currently at the club, Andreas Pereira is widely expected to depart on loan before the window closes next week.

The small Brazilian has undoubtedly got talent but does lack the physical stature to have an impact in English football.

A year full of regular first team action in the Championship might be exactly what he needs to learn how he can adapt his game to the elite level.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Wolves latest loan signing is one of the few academy products who has been assured of his future at the Theatre of Dreams.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is another who requires 90 minutes week in week out to show exactly what he can do and promotion-chasing Wolves should give the useful left-back the perfect platform to take his career forwards.

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard has etched his name in Man United history by scoring the winning goal against Crystal Palace in extra-time of the FA Cup final back in May.

Despite the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lingard is still firmly in Mourinho's plans for the season.

A niggle picked up in the Community Shield has halted his progress so far but he can expect plenty of playing time as the Portuguese boss rotates his wide options over the course of the year.

Reece James

Reece James did not have the best Man United debut to remember.

Playing at left-back in the shock 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in 2014, his inexperience was exposed and he was never trusted again by Van Gaal.

Loan spells at Rotherham and Huddersfield failed to persuade the manager otherwise and James now features for Wigan in the Championship.

Saidy Janko

Saidy Janko did actually swap Manchester for Glasgow when he joined Celtic in 2015 so Mourinho had no influence on this one.

But it was Van Gaal who actually gave him his debut in that ill-fated League Cup tie against MK Dons in 2014.

Mourinho's predecessor had clearly seen enough from those 45 minutes to judge he had no real future at the club.

The amount of competition at right-back definitely did not help his cause and Janko is now working with Brendan Rodgers in the Scottish Premiership.

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Wayne Rooney
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Premier League
Marcus Rashford
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal
Jose Mourinho

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