Here is a list of 15 Youth Academy players who were given a first-team football chance under Louis Van Gaal for Manchester United.
1) Marcus Rashford
Rashford was first given an opportunity by Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal. As of now, he is part of the front three of United. It looks like he’s gonna be here for a long time now. Rashford in his debut season had 9 goals for Manchester United, but now the sky is the limit for him.
2) Jesse Lingard
Lingard United’s roadrunner made his debut for United in a match against Swansea in 2014. The player has been involved in the first team ever since. He also scored a screamer against Crystal Palace in the Fa Cup Final in 2016. As of now, he is someone who is respected by the club and the players as a player who gives his all. Although there is a massive slump in his form since the last 2 seasons.
3) Andreas Pereira
Pereira was brought under Van Gaal in a much advance attacking role. the player was renowned for his abilities in set-piece situations. But now under current management, he tends to play in a central midfield role. Pereira is one of the players Ole can slot in many positions. His presence adds versatility to the squad.
4) Timothy Fosu Mensah
Fosu Mensah was a regular part of the team under Jose Mourinho. Although he was brought in by Louis Van Gaal. He plays at left-back and center back. However, he was out of the squad due to a year-long injury. But the player is just 22 and can hope for a run in the squad.
5) Cameron Borthwick Jackson
Borthwick Jackson was also called up for the senior team in the 2014-15 season. He made 14 first-team appearances in the 15-16 season. But he has faced loan spells since then. Apparently the player had a few loan spells terminated due to his attitude problems. He is currently on loan at Oldham Athletic.
6) Saidy Janko
Jenko only has one senior team appearance for United. The player was a part of the team in an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Mk Dons where he was subbed at half time. The right-back was then sold to Porto in 2018. Currently, he plays for Young Boys FC and is on loan from Porto.
7) Guillermo Varela
Varela was made a part of the squad by David Moyes but got his first-team chance under Louis Van Gaal. The player was a regular part of the team a featured at right-back. As of now, he plays for FC Copenhagen.
8) Paddy Mcnair
Just like Varela, Mcnair was someone Van Gaal went to among United’s injury crisis. Van Gaal was of the opinion that he could play as a right-back for United for the next 10 seasons. But Mcnair was looking for a more advanced role. The player went out on loan to Sunderland in 2016 and then joined Middlesbrough in 2018.
9) Tom Thorpe
Thorpe only featured once for United in his senior team career. The player went on to play in the Championship for Birmingham, Bolton, etc. He even played for Atletico de Kolkata in the ISL. But the player has been without a club for the last 2 years.
10) Tyler Blackett
Blackett was also one of the players Van Gaal brought to the first team among an injury-prone season for United. Blackett had 12 appearances for the first team in the 14-15 season. However, he couldn’t break through ranks and was sold to Reading in 2016.
11) Reece James
Unlike Recce James for Chelsea, United’s Reece James has only one appearance for the team. He was also part of the 4-0 defeat at MK Dons. He left the club to join Wigan in 2015. Currently, he plays for Doncaster Rovers after spending the 2018/19 season at Sunderland. According to the Express, United might call James back for a run in the squad.
12) Donald Love
Love was brought in by David Moyes. However, Van Gaal gave him his first break. Ironically in both his appearances with United he lost and then went on to join Moyes in Sunderland in 2016.
13) Regan Poole
Poole was also part of the match where Rashford made his debut for the club against Midtjylland. However, he could not have the same breakthrough as Rashford and now plays for Milton Keynes Dons on loan.
14) James Weir
Weir only made one appearance for United in the 14-15 season. Since then he signed for Hull City in 2016. After his contract termination in 2020, he now plays for the Slovakian side Pohronie.
15) Joe Riley
Joe Riley also featured against Midtjylland in 2016. He was on a loan spell with Sheffield United when injury halted his growth. Last August he suffered a knee injury that rules him out of the entire 19-20 campaign.