Ole Gunnar Solskjaer teased that Manchester United’s promising crop of youngsters are nearly ready to be unleashed in the Premier League.
Solskjaer’s youth policy at United has shown signs of promise thanks to the emergence of teenagers Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong.
Greenwood, in fact, stole the headlines on Thursday by outshing Solskjaer’s preferred centre-forward Marcus Rashford in scoring the decisive goal for United’s 1-0 Europa League win over Astana.
It was the 17-year-old’s first official senior goal and it also made him the club’s youngest ever European goalscorer.
However, Solskjaer plans to not rush his young guns into the first-team and will keep them in cup competitions for now.
“You learn quite a lot when playing the youngsters,” the Red Devils boss told Sky Sports.
“You want them to go out and express themselves, to go out and perform so that have a platform to build on. I thought it paid off [against Astana].
“I understand that some of the boys, sometimes they can feel the heat, but I thought they were excellent. Of course, we must protect them, find the right moment to put them in. Give them guidance behind closed doors.”
Solskjaer added: “They’re almost ready [to play in the Premier League]. That’s why they’re with us, why they’re training with us and they have done well in training.
“The young boys now – you will see them enough. You will see them in the Europa League, the FA Cup the Carabao Cup and maybe a little bit in the Premier League.
“If we do well in the Europa League we have a chance to win it. In the early stages, you can take a few chances, take a few risks, make some subs and give the youngsters a chance.
“I think it’s about time they had some exposure to see if they are ready to play in the Premier League.”
United, who have won just two of their five Premier League games this season, will meet West Ham on Sunday.