Manchester United may have a new interim manager at the helm, but the work started by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on bringing through young players is not about to stop just because Ralf Rangnick has taken over.
The 63-year-old has taken charge until the end of the season and will be in the dugout for Sunday’s clash against Crystal Palace for the first time.
Rangnick’s first training session with the squad had been delayed while he was forced to wait for a work permit to be granted by the UK government.
But now he has been given the green light, the German tactician can move forward with his plans to reinvigorate his underperforming Man United side.
The Red Devils are some 15 points off the pace after Chelsea beat Watford 2-1 on Wednesday and in Michael Carrick’s final game as caretaker, they face a resurgent Arsenal side.
Rangnick will be in the stands for that crunch clash and it will be his first opportunity to see his new players in a live game at Old Trafford, having been shown around his new home on Tuesday.
Whatever the outcome, he will be focused on performing a quick turnaround on their form given the limited time he has in the dugout before moving into a consultancy role.
But according to a report from The Mirror, a source familiar with the former RB Leipzig coach claims he will also be keen to promote a youth player to become a first-team regular in his six-month reign.
There are a few standout candidates, with Hannibal Mejbri, Alvaro Fernandez, Dillon Hoogewerf and Joe Hugill all called up to train with the first team recently.
Which Manchester United youngster do you think deserves a first-team spot? Comment below.
One youngster in particular, Dutch starlet Bjorn Hardley, 19, was recently included in an image alongside Cristiano Ronaldo on the Portuguese superstar’s Instagram, having been part of his “winning team”.
And the insider claims Rangnick feeds off young players and “absolutely loves them”, which perfectly aligns with United’s plans for building towards the future.
Recent additions such as £50m spent on Amad and Facundo Pellistri points to United’s willingness to recruit the best talent around.
Solskjaer also gave first-team debuts to a number of youth graduates from the club’s esteemed academy, including Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood.
Rangnick is regarded as one of the most influential coaches in modern football, having mentored Premier League masterminds such as Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel in their early days of coaching.
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But United’s new interim boss also has an eye for talent having worked as a sporting director with Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.
During his time in Germany, the club brought in a number of young British players including Emile Smith Rowe, Ethan Ampadu and Ademola Lookman before they became household names.
Given that all three have gone on to make appearances in the Premier League for their parent clubs since, it would suggest Rangnick’s judgement of potential is often spot on.
He was poached by United from Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow, where he had worked as head of sport development, indicating that youth progression is something Rangnick strongly believes in.
And his experience will no doubt serve him well when he runs the rule over the talent on offer in the Man United academy.
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