Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has included 13 youth players in his squad to face FC Astana in the Europa League this evening, all of which have featured in the Leasing.com Trophy this season.
United picked up maximum points in their Leasing.com Trophy Group Stage games, seeing off Doncaster Rovers, Lincoln City and Rotherham United on their way to topping Group H in the Northern Section.
They scored four goals in their three group games, with Ethan Galbraith, Ethan Laird, Largie Ramazani and Mason Greenwood all netting for Neil Wood’s side.
The latter scored a 90th-minute winner at the Keepmoat Stadium against Doncaster Rovers in their final group game, and has gone on to feature in the Premier League of late, notably scoring against Sheffield United in their 3-3 draw last time out.
Galbriath, Laird and Ramazani are yet to make their first-team bows during their time at the club, but have clearly impressed Solskjaer at the start of this campaign.
The Norwegian has put huge emphasis on the development of youth players during his time as Manchester United manager, with the likes of Tahith Chong and Greenwood being given the opportunity to shine on the big stage.
With progression to the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League back in the 2018/19 season looking unlikely, Solskjaer took the brave decision to throw on Chong and Greenwood, which in turn helped secure a famous 3-1 win away at Paris Saint Germain to secure passage to the next round.
Sir Alex Ferguson took a similar approach during his time as Manchester United boss, producing some of the best young talents that the Premier League has ever seen, the Class of '92.
The current manager, who was part of the 1999 squad that completed the famous Treble alongside members of the Class of '92, is setting up his own school of success 20 years on.
From 'Fergie’s Fledglings' to 'Ole’s Originals', Manchester United have used competitions such as the League Cup and, more recently, the Leasing.com Trophy to unearth the raw talent that lies at the club.
Manchester United U21s head to Prenton Park to take on Sky Bet League One outfit Tranmere Rovers in the next round of the Leasing.com Trophy.