ERIK TEN HAG has raised the bar for the standards Manchester United youngsters must reach in order to be kept at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford from Ajax last year, a club fabled for its incredible supply line of homegrown talent.

United have also produced an amazing number of players down the years, including the famous Class of 92.

Ten Hag, however, has changed the way that the club view emerging talent.

According to the Mail, the Dutchman has taken a more ruthless approach to evaluating young players.

During Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's time in charge of United, 16 academy players were handed first-team debuts.

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Ten Hag has so far resisted such sentiment, and has sent a number of academy players packing.

In fact, none of the 16 starlets played by Solskjaer are first-team regulars under Ten Hag.

Of players to feature for the Red Devils so far this season, only Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Alejandro Garnacho spent time in the club's academy.

During the summer, Carrington hopefuls Matej Kovar, Teden Mengi, Zidane Iqbal, Charlie Savage and Marc Jurado were all sent packing.

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While United also cashed in on Dean Henderson and Anthony Elanga to Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest respectively for a combined £35million.

The Red Devils were only able to fund Sofyan Amrabat's deadline day loan move because of academy sales.

And Ten Hag would rather prioritise incomings from elsewhere than take gambles on youth team starlets.

Of course, there can be exceptional cases.

Midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, 18, impressed in pre-season, but was cruelly struck down by injury.

Mainoo's fellow 18-year-old Dan Gore made the bench for Premier League matches against Nottingham Forest and Arsenal off the back of a strong pre-season.

So Ten Hag won't quite sell off all of United's up and coming players just for the sake of it.

But gone are the days of keeping players around out of any sense of loyalty or sentiment.


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If they are deemed of really exceptional quality they will be kept around.

Ten Hag has no interest, however, in keeping players into their 20s and giving them the odd League Cup run-out.

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