Manchester United youngsters need patience to develop, says Nicky Butt
Last Updated: 22/10/19 3:24pm
Manchester United's head of first-team development Nicky Butt has urged fans to remain patient with the club's young talent as they attempt to make headway during a transitional period at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have endured a tough start to the 2019-20 season, sitting 14th in the Premier League table with just 10 points from nine games.
Among the handful of positives in the opening months have been the opportunities afforded to academy graduates.
Brandon Williams recently made his debut and James Garner has been around the squad, while fellow teenagers Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood have played multiple times.
Greenwood last week signed improved and extended terms with United, having netted in two of his three starts this season, but Butt has pleaded for fans to remain patient.
"They're very exciting players," said Butt. "We're all excited about these young boys and there's probably another four or five in the background that are slowly going to come up behind them.
"Hopefully more behind that and more behind that, but they're only babies and young at the minute.
"But, for me, it's difficult to bring in a lot of players into a team that's not firing on all cylinders, if you like."
United have a long history of bringing through young talent, with a study showing that no Premier League club gave more minutes to their academy graduates last season.
And asked if established players like Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay can aid the current crop, Butt said: "Yeah, they can. They can play a big role by going on the pitch and performing.
"But at this club, you have to perform week in, week out, every single week, in front of 76,000, twice a week.
"It's very, very difficult and the message we want to give as an academy and as a club is, yeah, Mason Greenwood, if you want to use his name, he looks like an unbelievable, talented boy, which he is.
"But the word 'boy' is what he is, and we have just to as a fanbase and supporters be patient with these boys."