Manchester United spent the summer adding to their ranks, with the mass influx of largely foreign talent, for many, threatening to undermine the club’s admirable ethos of developing home-grown players.
World-class assets raised in far flung corners of the globe such as Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao have been parachuted in for mega money with the Red Devils desperate to regain their formerly automatic spot in the Champions League this term.
Their sluggish start of no wins and two points from three relatively easy fixtures has resulted in them drifting to 11/10 in the race for a top-four finish, but this influx of glamour arrivals has maintained the value in this particular bet.
For an observing outsider, these high-profile acquisitions will hinder the progress of the many Old Trafford academy graduates on the periphery of the first team.
But Ryan Giggs has moved to quell the murmurs of the doubting masses, assuring that, in accordance with the club’s principles, youth will still be given a chance under Louis van Gaal.
Tyler Blackett is one of these fledgling stars, featuring in each of United’s three league games this term and the bright future of James Wilson has been referenced on numerous occasions already.
But who can we expect to join the duo on the frontline?
The versatile Swiss youngster was handed a first-team bow in the Red Devils’ 4-0 Capital One Cup mauling at MK Dons.
He may have only lasted 45 minutes, but he was far from the worst player on the pitch that night.
Pace and power are two of his biggest attributes, while an ability to play anywhere down the right-hand side will come in handy in LVG’s 3-4-3 system, which, physically, demands plenty from the widemen.
Van Gaal selected the Bacup-born full-back frequently throughout pre-season, but hasn’t as yet called upon his services in the Premier League, despite him making the bench three times.
A diligent defender whose more than capable in possession, James is another youngster who looks well-suited to the Dutchman’s favoured formation and will surely be handed a chance this term.
The 19-year-old could provide much-needed cover for holding-midfield twosome Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick.
He is lauded for an excellent passing range, while he’s also not afraid to put a tackle in.
Augmenting the creativity of their middle band has been a priority of United’s this summer, but player’s whose forte is averting danger are equally important and Pearson is of this ilk.