Rated! How successful Van Gaal's debutants will be under Jose
Jose's coming! Y'know, if you hadn't already heard. But while everyone else is getting excited at piecing together the various narratives in 2016/17, there'll be a clutch of previously puppy dog-eyed kids from Manchester United's academy whose chances under a departed Dutchman may have been their last. So who's really got a chance under their new boss? Marks out of 10...
Jesse Lingard vs Swansea 16/08/14
It didn’t take Louis van Gaal long to start playing the youngsters, with Lingard chosen in the starting line-up for the Dutchman’s first Premier League game. Having impressed on another pre-season tour, Van Gaal gave him a chance, but the England youngster was taken off with an injury less than half an hour in, and that was his season at United over. Van Gaal persevered, though, bringing Lingard back into the team the following season. He went on to score six goals, including that brilliant strike against Chelsea and, of course, the winner in the FA Cup final.
Sir Alex Ferguson predicted that Lingard would be a late bloomer and, now 23, 2016/17 could be make or break for him at the club. He’s a decent squad player and one probably worth keeping around, but it’s hard to see him beginning next season as a regular starter.
Tyler Blackett vs Swansea 16/08/14
His last appearance came as a ninth-minute substitute but, after playing a part in both of the goals Celtic conceded, he himself was taken off with over 20 minutes left to play
After making a promising start in the centre of defence following an injury crisis at the back, Blackett went off the boil and was loaned out to Celtic. Rather than being a fresh start and a chance to prove himself, however, he had a terrible time north of the border. His last appearance came as a ninth-minute substitute but, after playing a part in both of the goals Celtic conceded, he himself was taken off with over 20 minutes left to play.
There were reports that he was set to be recalled during the January transfer window as United's defensive crisis continued, but nothing came of it and he hasn’t been heard of since. Given that Blackett's been playing for Celtic U20s in recent months, it's likely he'll be sold this summer.
Andreas Pereira vs MK Dons 26/08/14
Despite his good form at the junior level, he hardly even made the bench in the latter months of the season, which was a huge disappointment for both the player and fans
After surviving the cull of players who featured in the embarrassing 4-0 defeat by MK Dons, Pereira was criminally overlooked during Van Gaal’s reign.
Pereira’s first start of the season came in the League Cup against Ipswich, where he scored a fine free-kick. He played in a handful of games between then and the New Year and became a regular in February, but his last game was against Midtjylland theee months ago.
Pereira's got bags of talent and has shown what he's capable of when featuring for the U21s this year. Despite his good form at the junior level, he hardly even made the bench in the latter months of the season, which was a huge disappointment for both the player and fans.
Paddy McNair vs West Ham 27/09/14
Used in both the centre of defence and at right-back, McNair has struggled to find consistent form in the first team. There have been matches where he's looked like a thoroughly decent prospect, and others where he's been destroyed and withdrawn.
There’s a chance of McNair making it as a squad player, but he also might have blown his opportunity. Overall, though, he didn't do enough to impress when United had a string of defensive injuries at the midway point of the 2015/16 campaign.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson vs West Brom 07/11/15
He may resemble a T-Rex when he runs, but Borthwick-Jackson has put in some solid performances and seems totally unfazed by palying in the first team
Most fans would argue that Borthwick-Jackson is the only player capable of challenging Luke Shaw for his place in the team; it was, indeed, unfair that Marcos Rojo was chosen ahead of the young left-back in the FA Cup final, and even more wrong that Phil Jones was on the bench instead of him.
He may resemble a T-Rex when he runs, but Borthwick-Jackson has put in some solid performances and seems totally unfazed by playing in the first team. He was also the U21s Player of the Year and, having only just turned 19, is one the club should definitely keep around.