Man Utd's best academy graduates, including George Best, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Marcus Rashford | The Sun

HISTORICALLY, Manchester United have always been rich with youth stars in their first team.

From the Busby Babes to Fergie's Fledglings, the Red Devils do have an eye of promoting from within.

Back in May, their U18 team showed that the club's academy is still important as they lifted the FA Youth Cup.

While new boss Erik ten Hag appears to be following in the tradition of his predecessors by giving youngsters a chance in recent preseason friendly and praising the likes of Hannibal Mejbri, Zidane Iqbal and Alejandro Garnacho for their efforts in training.

Should they succeed, they will be following in a long line of talents that have lit up Old Trafford.

Ryan Giggs

The Welsh wing-wizard was originally on Man City's books, until he moved to United aged 14 in 1987.

Read more in sport

Ronaldo in Roma loan LATEST, Milinkovic-Savic and De Jong updates

England vs Sweden: Get £20 in FREE BETS when you stake £5 with Ladbrokes

Sir Alex Ferguson would hand the teenage prodigy his debut in 1991 – and he would go on to play for the club for an astonishing 23 years.

He holds the record for most appearances for the club – an amazing 963.

And is one of the most decorated footballers of all-time – having won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cup winner's medals, three League Cups and the Champions League twice.

David Beckham

Beckham became a household name on the opening day of the 1996-1997 season, when he scored from the halfway line against Wimbledon.

Six years earlier, he had signed on as a trainee and established himself in the 'Class of '92' U18 side – winning the FA Youth Cup.

He would play 394 times for the club and score 85 goals – including plenty of trademark free-kicks that saw a film called 'Bend it like Beckham' highlight his prowess from a set-piece.

An infamous fallout with Fergie over his superstar status boiled over in a dressing room bust-up, and he left the club for Real Madrid.

He would go on to play for LA Galaxy, AC Milan and PSG – becoming the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the United States and France

Most read in Football


Everton set to AXE Dele Alli just six months after free transfer from Spurs


Harry Maguire REJECTED Barcelona transfer swap as part of Frenkie de Jong deal


Nice eye transfer bid for Schmeichel as Leicester risk losing keeper for free


Ronaldo 'shocked after Man Utd offer LOAN transfer and contract EXTENSION'

George Best

The fifth Beatle, Best was the first footballer of his type where fame and good looks complimented his playing style.

A natural talent, he showboated and swaggered on the pitch from the very first game he set foot on the Old Trafford turf aged just 17 against West Brom in 1963.

He famously joined United aged 15 after he was discovered by chief scout Bob Bishop who sent a telegram to Sir Matt Busby declaring "I think I've found you a genius."

Four years later he announced himself with two goals in a European Cup quarter-final match at Benfica – outshining Portuguese golden boy Eusebio in Lisbon.

But the party boy lifestyle and an addiction to alcohol would catch up with him. He quit Old Trafford days before his 28th birthday and never really regained the heights he climbed as a teenager.

Paul Pogba

France World Cup winner was plucked from La Havre's academy in 2009 when he was 16.

He would play just seven times in his first spell before leaving controversially for Juventus in 2012, with Fergie calling the move "disappointing" and slamming his agent Mino Raiola.

Pogba would return in 2016 for a word record fee of £90million, and show glimpses of his incredible talent that on his day puts him as one of the best in the world.

But this summer he walked away from Old Trafford for free to return to Turin – leaving United fans seething.

Duncan Edwards

Nobody knows what Edwards could have achieved – with his life cut so tragically short aged just 21 in the Munich air disaster in 1958.

By that time he had already played 18 times for England, and 177 times for Manchester United.

In a career that lasted no more than five years, he won two league titles and led the club to two European Cup semi-finals, after signing as a 15-year-old.

Bobby Charlton once said of Edwards he was "the only player that made me feel inferior".

Paul Scholes

Scholesy was another member of the 'Class of '92' who played for United during a golden period of their history.

He signed on as a 14-year-old trainee after leaving school and made his debut in 1994 – scoring twice in a League Cup tie against Port Vale.

The midfielder would go on to receive universal praise from his peers – with Barcelona legend Xavi calling him "the best central midfielder" he had seen in the past 15-20 years.

While Thierry Henry would also say, "If he was playing with me, I would have scored so many more."

Scholes would spend his entire career at Old Trafford – winning 11 Premier League titles, as well as two Champions Leagues.

Gary Neville

Perhaps the best right back of his generation, Gary Neville was captain of that youth side that won the 1992 FA Youth Cup – an accolade he achieved just a year after joining the club.

That same year he seized upon his opportunity in the first team when first choice defender Paul Parker got injured, and he stayed there for 20 years.

The one-club man would go on to make 602 appearances for the club, as well as appear 85 times for the Three Lions.

Retiring in 2011 following a match against West Brom, where he admitted he sat down on the toilet at half-time and knew it was going to be his last game, Neville has enjoyed several different roles after football.

His most famous is as a pundit on Sky Sports, while he had an unsuccessful stint as Valencia manager and is also a property developer.

Sir Bobby Charlton

United's greatest ever servant – Charlton is still revered is an ambassador to the club for life.

Sir Bobby's love affair with the club began in 1953, when he was spotted playing for East Northumberland schools by Manchester United chief scout Joe Armstrong and snapped up at 15.

His debut came in 1956 – and he would go on to become Man Utd's all-time leading scorer with 249 goals before Wayne Rooney broke his record.

And he was equally prolific for England – finding the net 49 times for his country, which was also a record until Rooney came along.

A statue outside Old Trafford recognises his greatness.

Mark Hughes

It's easy to forget Hughes started his youth career with United as a promising talent in 1980, having been spotted by the team's North Wales talent scout Hugh Roberts.

He would have to wait three years for his debut – scoring against Oxford United in the League Cup.

Barcelona bought him in 1986 for £2million – with manager Terry Venables partnering the Welsh forward with Gary Lineker.

But Hughes was a flop, and was equally as unimpressive in a loan spell at Bayern Munich.

However, a return home to the Red Devils with Sir Alex Ferguson came in 1988 – and he would go on to score 116 times for the club across seven seasons.

Marcus Rashford

One of the more recent graduates of the actual academy as it exists today, Rashford exploded on the scene in 2015 – first scoring twice in United's UEFA Europa League round of 32 against Danish club Midtjylland on his professional debut.

He then followed that up with two goals and an assist on his Premier League debut against rivals Arsenal to secure a 3-2 win.

Read More on The Sun

I’m a billionaire gypsy born in a caravan – here’s how I made money from nothing

How to get free food at Tesco this summer holiday

Since then, Rashford has played for England and become a hero for poor school kids – ensuring they received free school meals by campaigning to the government.

His form has tailed off, and there have been question marks over his future. However new gaffer ten Hag might just be the catalyst for Rashford's resurgence.

    Source: Read Full Article