Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, has said young players at the club, must make the most of their chances in the first team, as they are playing for “maybe the biggest club in history”.
When United host Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, it will be the 4,000th consecutive time they have included at least one academy graduate in the matchday squad.
The run stretches back to 1937.
Pogba, who joined United as a 16-year-old, told the club’s official website: “I’ve said to a lot of the young players who have been with the first team: ‘Guys, you don’t know how lucky you are.’ Unfortunately for us, we’ve had a lot of injured players and it’s, therefore, a big chance for the young players to be involved with the first team.
“They have the chance to do well and stay there. So, I said to them: ‘Take this luck and take this opportunity because it’s important until the other players come back fit.’ You never know, there could be an injured player and a young player comes in and plays a great game and they stay with the first team until the end of their career.
“So, I’ve told them: ‘Guys, be ready and always take the opportunity.’ If they have the quality to be with the first team then why not take the opportunity and play and enjoy yourself?
“Mason [Greenwood], since the first training session that I saw him in, and Brandie [Brandon Williams], Jimmy [James Garner], Angel [Gomes], Chongy [Tahith Chong] and all the players. Axel [Tuanzebe] as well, although I don’t see him as a young guy, for me, he has been in the first team for a long time, Timo [Tim Fosu-Mensah] as well, but the younger ones, they have the quality, they have everything to be in the first team.
“They’ve been playing and having some minutes and they should enjoy it when they’re on the pitch and work hard. Mason is scoring goals, Brandie has been playing games like he’s been there for six months already. This is about what the club is about and what the manager wants.
“I think and I hope I can help them. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and maybe the biggest club in history and they have the chance to be in this club. So I say to them: ‘Take your chance, play, you are young, you have quality, you have nothing to be afraid of.’
“I hope I can give them the good example when I’m on the pitch and outside the pitch and, even though I don’t see myself as old, I hope that the young players will, one day, come and take my position [when I finish playing]. That’s how it is, I won’t play forever.
“We all give our best on the pitch and I hope these young players will become legends here at the club. They have to enjoy it and really appreciate the chance they have here.”