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McClair: Tougher for Man Utd kids to make breakthrough

Manchester United academy director Brian McClair admits the club's spending this summer will make it even tougher for his young players to break into the first team.

"Young players and parents should always have dreams," McClair told the Manchester Evening News. "Parents dreaming of their boy playing for Manchester United and the lad having the same dream is a lovely thing. I don't think that has changed and will ever change.

"No matter what happens down the line, we always say at the outset to parents that if their boy comes into our academy system at eight years old they will be better players by the time they reach 16 and are considering becoming professionals than if they had gone to any other club.

"You see the recent cases of Kieran Richardson and David Jones, who'll be in the Premiership this season with Sunderland and Derby County, and I think we can say the product we are producing is good enough to play in the Premier League."

Seven of last year's Premiership-winning squad were brought through the youth system, but McClair added: "It is more difficult now, for instance, than when the Class of 92 came on to the senior scene. It is a different world now.

"There was less financial muscle to purchase players then, maybe a smaller transfer market to choose from. It is a worldwide search these days.

"I am not saying the Giggs, Beckhams, Nevilles, Scholes and Butts wouldn't have made it because they were great talents but it is harder now.

"But that is all part of the challenge. Our view is that we want to have as many players as we can develop and getting into the first team squad and establishing themselves.

"We are trying to produce a superior product than at some clubs but that is the challenge.

"It is down to us to produce the players and we are happy with what we have got in the system.

"Not everyone will make it but we want the lads who've been with us to go on and have good careers either at United or elsewhere. That is what we are about."

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Tribal Football Staff

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