Aaron Ramsey has today claimed the reason why he joined Arsenal instead of United was because he was made to feel more wanted and he thought Wenger had brought through a lot more youngsters and given them a chance.

Given that he is a self-confessed Manchester United fan, you have to worry he knows so little about our manager.

Sir Matt Busby once said “if they are good enough, they are old enough” and that is a motto we have built our club upon, and something Ferguson has always practised.

We’ll look at a few examples of young players at United, showing when they made their début and how many first team games they had played in by in the season they turned 21-years-old.

Ryan Giggs
Début: 17 years 4 months
Matches played by 21: 197

David Beckham
United début: 17 years 4 months.
Matches played by 21: 56

Gary Neville
United début: 17 years 7 months.
Matches played by 21: 69

Nicky Butt
United début: 17 years 7 months.
Matches played by 21: 65

Cristiano Ronaldo
United début: 18 years 6 months.
Matches played by 21: 137

Wes Brown
United début: 18 years 7 months.
Matches played by 21: 64 (missed an entire season through injury)

Wayne Rooney
United début: 18 years 11 months.
Matches played by 21: 146

United début: 19 years 5 months.
Matches played by 21: 98

Jonny Evans
United début: 19 years 8 months.
Matches played by 21: 37

Paul Scholes
United début: 19 years 11 months.
Matches played by 21: 56

Phil Neville
United début: 19 years 11 months.
Matches played by 21: 103

Of course the list goes on. Take a look at Premiership teams and see how many former United players there are there.

What is interesting though is that with the youngsters that Ferguson has brought through, they have typically always been winning things. Since winning his first trophy in 1990, Ferguson hasn’t gone longer than  one season without winning something. In contrast, Wenger has never won back to back titles, has never won the European Cup, and is four and half years without a trophy. It’s all fine and well bringing through young players, but not if you can’t turn them in to a team that wins things. Wenger has brought through young players only for them to leave for bigger clubs, with Fabregas certainly the next one out of the exit door. In contrast, the best products of our youth team have come through as teenagers and stayed for their entire career/past the peak of their career.

So, who has been more successful at bringing through youth? Sorry Aaron, the answer is there for all to see.

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