Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen a "culture shift" regarding transfers at Manchester United, according to Phil Neville.
United spent the most of any Premier League club over the summer when bringing in Harry Maguire (£80m), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£50m) and Daniel James (£15m).
Maguire produced a man-of-the-match performance in United’s 4-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday, with James also on target in their Premier League opener.
Solskjaer saluted his new recruits after their seamless adaptation to life at Old Trafford, and Neville believes his former United team-mate has built a squad which will fight right until the end.
They were more together, definitely, Neville said. It is early days but it was a fantastic game of football. In pre-season I’ve seen a real together, unified team playing a certain way and system. There’s been a shift in culture with the players brought in too.
The best moment on Sunday was when James scored that goal and the emotion in his face about what it meant to him.
Playing for Manchester United should mean something to you, and the signings Ole has made and the likes of (Mason) Greenwood, (Angel) Gomes and (Tahith) Chong coming into the squad means the bare minimum we’ll see is a Man United team which will fight right until the end.
Neville also singled out praise for Scott McTominay, hailing the midfielder’s dedication as he battles for a place in United’s starting XI.
He’s an impressive young man, Neville added. There are probably more skilful players, players with better reputations than McTominay, but if you’re talking about character and resilience, that lad’s gone through it all to get to where he wants to be. That’s through sheer hard work, dedication and training and doing extra.
It’s no coincidence Jose Mourinho picked him in the biggest games against Chelsea and PSG, and Ole’s doing the same now.
There’s nothing better than a level-headed young lad absolutely working his socks off. The fundamental basis of any successful person is hard work, and Scott McTominay is doing that in abundance.
Scholes: Excitement levels higher than before
Paul Scholes believes Solskjaer’s belief in youth is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson, who famously oversaw the Class of ’92’s development to ensure United became the biggest force in English football during the 1990s.
Scholes said: The right manager’s there now, who understands that has to be a big part of the club. It was big as we were coming through, we had a manager who believed in us, who wanted to give young players a chance and to do that he got rid of big players. He wanted to give us that opportunity and we took it.
These young players now will get the opportunity under Ole, it’s up to them whether they take it. We saw on Sunday they look like they will. With a bit of luck there’ll be more young players coming through.
The U23s have started doing really well too, that’s not really happened for the last couple of years. You watch them and are impressed, there are players coming through now who look ready for the first team and we know with Ole there they’ll get a chance.
Scholes added: It was exciting watching Marcus (Rashford) knowing there’s still a lot more to come from him. You’ve seen home-grown players like Jesse Lingard as well, and these players are exciting to watch.
McTominay’s looking good, he had a really good pre-season, and other people like Chong and Gomes are coming through the club too. Looking at the U23s and youth team now, you’re excited like you haven’t been the last couple of years.
Meanwhile, Nicky Butt – United’s new head of academy – said it is an exciting time to be at the club after they upped their ‘aggressiveness’ regarding recruitment.
Butt said: Over the last few years we’ve been a bit more aggressive in the transfer market, signing players people are taking notice of.
We’ve got some really good coaches in there who are passionate about the club, and more importantly we’ve got a manager who knows the club, knows the people, knows what it takes to get young players through because he was part of it, so these are exciting times.