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The whiz-kids at Old Trafford

macheda man utd striker

Written by Abir.

Nearly all United fans have expressed that Sir Alex won’t be able to move on to greater things next season, unless he splashes-out on a new striker or midfielder (or both). But if you take a look at players like Kiko and Chicharito – who needs to spend when you have the most valuable asset of all: Youth…

Chief executive David Gill reiterated this week that Sir Alex Ferguson has cash for new signings if he needs it. However, most fans fear the money needed to service the huge debt heaped on the club by The Glazer Family means their manager has no choice but to build from within.

With fans hoping that United will buy at least one more ‘quality’ player before the end of the transfer window, Fergie insists there is no value in the transfer market for the second summer in a row. For the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Van Der Sar and Neville, this season may be their last. Hargreaves has been out for two years and he will never be the same player again. In this present situation, there are many who feel United will fail to win a trophy this year. However, Sir Alex Ferguson has staked Manchester United’s future on his new generation of players and promised that they will be his legacy when he quits Old Trafford. He is adamant they will reward his faith by becoming United’s new ‘golden generation’. No one knows the youngsters as well as him and it would not be wise to back against the kids. He isn’t one of the best managers in the world for no reason !

Although Cleverley and Welbeck are poised to go on loan to Newcastle and Sunderland respectively, there is enough young blood in the United ranks to clinch their historic 19th league title. Here, we take a look at some of the names who could play a ‘major’ part for United next season…

Federico Macheda: The Italian striker burst onto United’s first team scene in April 2009 with a sensational debut goal against Aston Villa, but he has seen his career stall after suffering from a series of niggling injuries. A perfectly legitimate goal against Chelsea – unlike the previous goal in that game – is all Macheda has got to show for his efforts last season but it is still at least something. A brace against the MLS All-Stars last week showed how deadly he can be. At the age of 18, time is well and truly on his side. Sir Alex has already ruled out a loan move for Macheda showing how much faith he has on him.

Jonny Evans: It seems a bit strange labelling Evans a youngster as he has been a semi-regular fixture in United’s defence for two seasons now. At 22 he is still fairly young and has arguably been United’s best youth product of the past decade. Evans has been immense for United in many games and although he can occasionally be guilty of the odd lapse, he is looking more and more like a magnificent defender. The Northern Ireland centre-back is an intelligent defender who combines an uncompromising physical approach with the ability to pass the ball out from the back. With Rio Ferdinand suffering yet another injury setback, Evans will have a key role to play next season.

Darren Gibson: The same age as Evans, the Republic of Ireland midfielder has found himself in the starting line up for some big games lately – in both Europe and the Premiership.Gibson’s game has developed noticeably as he has gained more top-level experience, to the extent that he’s no longer an understudy but a genuine contender to start in midfield.With a fierce shot and the confidence to use it, ‘Gibbo’ has a decent goal return and does seem to be going in the right direction. His 20-yard free kick goal against the MLS All-Stars was just the sign of great things to come from him…

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez: The Mexican sensation is a genius. He was the fastest player in the World Cup (32.15 km/h) and his pace could give defenders a nightmare. An out-and-out striker, Chicharito is quick, two-footed and strong in the air, qualities that have already seen him likened to Reds’ legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. His performances in South Africa and pre-season so far have been very impressive. He has settled quite well in his new club and is surely the player to watch out for next season. He may be behind Rooney and Berbatov in the pecking order but he has the potential to make a huge impact from the bench.

Gabriel Obertan: United secured the signature of French starlet Gabriel Obertan last year, with the highly-rated winger joining the Reds from Bordeaux. Obertan has made a decent start to his United career and looks very promising. Obertan’s cracker against Liverpool last season for the reserve team earned him high praise from the coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. ‘Gabby’ has shown that he has skill in abundance and an energy that could well be utilised next season. The pacy winger has had a good pre-season so far and will be looking for more first-team action next season.

Chris Smalling: A quick, clever central defender, Smalling played cameo roles for Roy Hodgson’s Fulham in both domestic and European competitions during 2010. Those performances were enough to catch the eye of United scouts who identified him as a talent too good to miss out on.

The 20-year old has had a mixed pre-season tour so far, conceding a penalty in his first game but scoring a great header three games later. He has been tipped as the future replacement for Rio Ferdinand and will have his fair share of chances next season to prove himself.

Rafael Da Silva: At 19 years of age, Rafael has already shown enough potential to have many pundits claiming he may just be the perfect replacement for Gary Neville at right back. He was highly praised for his exceptional performance against Milan in the Champions League last season. Better at going forward than he is at defending, there are signs that Rafael is improving in both departments and if he can stop getting himself and United needlessly into trouble he looks as though he could make the grade.

Players like Kleberson, Kieran Richardson, Eric Djemba-Djemba and David Bellion all had their chance to shine at United, but ultimately did not make the grade at a club where to succeed being good is not enough. You have to be exceptional, with an attitude to match your remarkable ability. Just as Giggs, Scholes, Neville and co did in the 1990’s, the current crop of young players must seize their chance when it arrives. Only time will tell if Ferguson’s young players grow into the stars he thinks they will be.

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