Manchester United manager José Mourinho has insisted that it is important that The Red Devils continue to promote academy players every season to maintain a "certain identity", with the manager praising the efforts of latest academy success story Scott McTominay.
Mourinho doesn't want to 'break' record
United have built up an always-increasing reputation of their youth system bringing some of the best players that the Premier League has seen. United's infamous 'Class of 92' is the first to spring to many people's minds, but recent times have also seen a plethora of young superstars begin to emerge.
That emerging talent was put on display in May in United's final Premier League fixture in their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. One player that has emerged from that group has been McTominay who has already made four appearances which has included his Champions League debut against Benfica last month.
United hold an astounding record of an academy player in every single match-day squad since 1937, and Mourinho has stated that he doesn't plan to break the 80-year run anytime in the near future.
"I don’t want to be the one that breaks that and I think the next United manager," Mourinho stated ahead of Saturday's clash with Newcastle United. "It doesn’t matter when he comes – should also try not to break it."
"It is more difficult now than it was before," the coach admitted. "But I think it is good."
"I feel it like a way to keep a certain identity of the club," the Portuguese national stated. "To keep that identity means, basically, we should bring a new player from the academy every season."
"I think what is happening with Lingard and Rashford is now happening with Scott McTominay because he is not going to leave the club any more," he said. "To follow a certain pathway is important. I am doing it with McTominay."
"Mr. Van Gaal had the start of Rashford," Mourinho added. "I am having it with Scott McTominay and, next year, there should be another."
United miss Pogba 'influence'
One of the biggest successes to come out of the academy in recent years is midfield maestro Paul Pogba, who has been significant for Mourinho's men since he returned to Old Trafford last summer for then a world-record fee.
The 24-year-old had a storming start to the campaign before picking up a knee injury in September which has kept him out of the side ever since. His absence has been telling especially for the likes of Romelu Lukaku whose form and goal scoring has dipped drastically since Pogba's injury.
Mourinho gave his side a major boost ahead of Saturday's clash with Newcastle stating that not only Pogba, but Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimović were in the squad for the visit of The Magpies. Mourinho states that it is clear to see how different United are both with and without Pogba.
“Paul, now I can speak because he's back," he said on the Frenchman's return. "I don't like to speak while he was injured, but you can clearly see Manchester United this season before Paul’s injury and after Paul’s injury."
"There are qualities in our football, " Mourinho concluded. "There are qualities that influence our approach in matches with Pogba and without Pogba - it's as simple as that.”