Nicky Butt has defended the Manchester United tenures of Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal and described the manager’s perceived lack of interest in the youth system as a ‘myth’.
Current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been widely praised for his integration of the club’s best young talents, with the likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams having impressed since being handed opportunities in the first-team at Old Trafford this season.
Solskjaer’s approach has been lauded for keeping with Manchester United‘s traditions of developing home-grown talent, though Butt believes the perceptions of the Norwegian’s predecessors at Old Trafford are ‘harsh’.
Van Gaal handed Marcus Rashford his senior debut whilst Mourinho also promoted Scott McTominay to the first-team, though both managers were criticised over a perceived preference for marquee signings.
Butt – who worked under both coaches in his role as head of the academy – believes criticism of the duo is unfair and insists neither manager mistreated United’s fabled youth system.
“I think it’s harsh on van Gaal and Mourinho, and David Moyes to a point, because they didn’t come into Man Utd and go this is it, move it all to one side, disrespect Man Utd and we’ll do it this way,” Butt told MUTV.
“They didn’t. They never did – it’s a myth that they did.
“Mourinho was brilliant with me. He spoke to me every single day at breakfast and asked about the kids. He did a few meetings with the kids when they were going to Portugal [in the UEFA Youth League] and telling them what to expect and so on.”