Manchester United have seen several academy graduates solidify they place in the first team squad this season, with Alejandro Garnacho scoring and assisting more goals than any other teenager in the league this season. Kobbie Mainoo has also impressed and has become one of the first names on the teamsheet since returning from his injury in November.

Captain Bruno Fernandes has spoken to the club’s official site about the responsibility the team has to do well to allow the youngsters to develop and improve.

At this club, you are used to having young players coming through the Academy and you’re used to the club buying young players that they feel can have a future at the club. They’ve been playing most and they’ve been doing well. They’ve been doing great things. But, when the team is playing better, it’s going to create an even better place for them to [continue their] development and to be a better player. To be in a better place, being more confident, having more trust and playing even better. Even if they’re doing well, I think there is always space for improvement for everyone, but obviously when the team improves, everyone else improves individually.

Fernandes recognises the responsibility that comes with being an academy graduate given our long history in promoting youth. Ethan Wheatley became the 250th academy player to make his debut for the first team in Wednesday night’s 4-2 win over Sheffield United and Fernandes celebrates this history of our club.

I think the team needs to step up in certain moments to also make them feel confident to have their bad moments, their bad games, or even to let them have less pressure on themselves to be the players that have to make the difference in certain moments.

I think they’ve been really good; they’ve been improving themselves. It’s just the first steps. They need to keep going, because obviously the expectations are going to grow, game by game, season by season. And we all know that at this club that they all expect a lot from the youngest, even more when they come from the Academy, because it’s part of the history of the club, and they have a big responsibility on their shoulders.