Giggs defends youth policy after Welbeck sale
Ryan Giggs insists Manchester United will never abandon the club’s tradition of developing young players and turning them into first-team stars, despite the recent sale of Danny Welbeck to Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The 23-year-old England international and former Academy graduate swapped Old Trafford for the Emirates Stadium on transfer deadline day with Colombian hotshot Radamel Falcao effectively replacing him in Louis van Gaal’s squad.
While it is always sad to see a local lad moving on, particularly one who has been with the club since he was a child, Giggs has quashed suggestions the Reds have given up on a famed youth policy that allowed him to graduate from the Class of ‘92’.
“United will never change,” Giggs explained at Soccerex, an annual conference that has brought more of football’s movers and shakers to Manchester. “The history of the club is to play exciting football, give youngsters a chance and keep to its traditions.
“Okay, Danny Welbeck has left but this is a manager [van Gaal] who gave Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Thomas Muller their chances. Tyler Blackett has played every game so far this season. We also have Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson.
"Players will leave but we have to make sure youngsters come through. United fans demand it. We are proud of our youth system. That's what separates us from a lot of other clubs, we always give young players a chance.
“I hope another 'Class of 92' comes through but the world is changing, and the young players coming through now might not be from Salford, even if you wish they were. They might be like Rafael da Silva from Brazil who has been with us from the age of 15.”
Nicky Butt, also speaking at the Soccerex event, echoed a similar sentiment and explained that work is being done to maintain the club’s rich history of promoting from within.
“The Welbeck thing is just something that came at a certain time and so people are saying the club has forgotten about its history,” Butt explained. “We’ve got a manager who is a proven winner, but it [United] is a short-term thing for him.
“He has signed a three-year deal and is going to be here for that length of time. The club’s priority now is to win things so, unfortunately, other things take a step back. But there are people working all the hours God sends to bring kids through.”