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There haven’t been too many successes for Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, however, his use of the youth players is certainly one of them. No fewer than 14 academy graduates have chalked up minutes with the first-team, and in several cases played a major role during this campaign.
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According to the CIES Football Observatory – which, to me and you, is basically a huge Football Manager database where they analysis all players who are under 23 from the top five leagues and, using baffling statsitics, make predictions on who are the most valuable/important/talented players.
In the latest report, the Red Devils can stake claim to having six players who make the top five of their respective positions.
No surprises that the Frenchman makes the list, with his debut season highlighting what an exciting and talented striker Martial is.
The goals may not have been as regular as he and the Red Devils would’ve hoped, however, his all-round play has more than made up for his lack of goals – although 13 goals from 39 starts isn’t too shabby at all, especially for a 20-year-old.
What is surprising, though, isn’t the fact that the former Monaco player is second on the CIES list, but the fact that it is Liverpool’s Divock Origi who leads the way!
Where's borthwick-Jackson? I'm tired of Rojo's crossing
— LéRoy🇯🇲 (@reubenleroy) March 20, 2016
If only Borthwick Jackson was the one delivering those crosses….. If only.
— ㋡ Invincible (@Its_Jaymo) March 20, 2016
we need cameron borthwick-jackson back
— d (@dimivass_) March 20, 2016
Sounds like Manchester United’s fans have a new fan favourite! And who can blame them, with Borthwick-Jackson the third best full-back of his category. Can you say ‘future star’?
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The former Southampton full-back tops the list and, given his pre-injury form, you can understand why. Roy Hodgson will still be crossing those fingers that, by some miracle, the United defender is able to play a part in England’s Euro 2016 campaign.
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Trying to work out, firstly, why Borussia Dortmund wanted him on loan and, secondly, why he’s top of the pile in his category. Useless.
The jury is still out on the Dutchman, with the former PSV man going from moments like this…
— Real Soccer News (@TheSoccer_news) March 2, 2016
…all too frequently.
Paddy McNair. Thoroughly underwhelmed by the return of Panini Thoughts. pic.twitter.com/RYfrBxZbG4
— Panini Thoughts (@PaniniThoughts) March 30, 2016
Nope, we don’t get it either.