Date: 8th February 2007 at 7:02pm
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We’ve been looking forward to hear it for a while now: Fergie would give some our young players the opportunity to shine at United.

Let’s face it: since the so-called class of ’92, Fergie hasn’t been brave enough to give a chance to a crop of youngsters. Of course there’s the chance that they were simply not up for the job but all in all, only O’Shea, Fletcher and Richardson made it in recent years and needless to say, none of them could be compared to Beckham, Scholes, Giggs (OK, he’s not in the class of ’92 but I had to include him somehow) or Gary Neville.

Now he feels the current young players have the ability to go all the way.

‘We are very pleased with the young players we have got,’ Ferguson told The Manchester Evening News.

‘We have worked hard.

‘The three Irish boys – Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart and Darron Gibson – are exceptionally good.

And let me add, one of them is a midfielder. Once United’s strongest asset, now an area that needs permanent strengthening. But Fergie wants to speak so I shut up.

‘We’ve also got Lee Martin at Stoke at the moment. Danny Simpson is at Sunderland and Phil Bardsley is at Aston Villa. It is a good crop. Gerard Pique is in Zaragoza’s first team every week now in Spain and he has good potential. Giuseppe Rossi is at Parma and scoring goals.

‘These are boys with potential at that age, at 19. They give us a future – there is no doubt about that.

‘What we do with them next year is a big question mark for us because, when you are 19, you can appease them by putting them on loan for a spell.

‘But, once they have had that loan period, they don’t want to be on loan forever. They want to come back and get into the first team.

‘The question is: How do we view them in terms of first-team positions next season if we decided to bring them on at the same time? I think we will probably do that.

‘That will be a challenge for them then but also a reminder to everyone else that there are players looking to take their position.’

The reality is that only three or four of them will make it to the first team. I would say Piqué, Evans, Gibson and Rossi. But I believed David Jones could be a star so my opinion is not exactly pure gold.

But with the debts reducing the transfer budget and with the age of Solskjaer, Giggs, Scholes, Gary Neville, we need young blood to have any chance of competing against our rivals, in England and on the continent.