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Mourinho’s Kids Show Future Is Bright At Old Trafford

Jose Mourinho named the youngest Manchester United XI in Premier League history for the season finale clash with Crystal Palace.

The average age of Mourinho’s side came in at 22years and 284 days, a side younger than any of those named by historic boss Sir Alex Ferguson in the Premier League era.

And it was two graduates of the United academy who got the goals in the 2-0 win, with Josh Harrop’s dream debut goal and a Paul Pogba strike ending United’s Premier League campaign on a high.

The media will tell you that Mourinho does not play kids, but heading into this weekend, only Everton boss Ronald Koeman had given more playing time to teenagers than Mourinho had. And that was before Sunday’s game against Crystal Palace where Mourinho starting XI featured eight Academy graduates.

Late on against Palace Mourinho brought on Angel Gomes, who became the first player from since 2000 to appear in a Premier League game. Gomes was also United’s youngest debutant since Duncan Edwards in 1953.

The mantra in the media is that Mourinho doesn’t trust kids, but Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are great for giving youth a chance. But Ainsley Maitland-Niles is the only teenager (one minute) to have featured for the Gunners this season.

Champions Chelsea, meanwhile, have gone through 37 matches of their title-winning season without fielding a single teenager all season. That is despite the Blues’ under-18 side winning the treble this term under Jody Morris.

Their famed academy side also secured their fourth successive FA Youth Cup titles in April. But not one of those players has gone on to feature under Antonio Conte this season.

CLUBS WHO HAVE HANDED TEENAGERS THE MOST MINUTES THIS SEASON 
Team name Minutes given to teenagers
Everton
Manchester United
Manchester City
West Brom
Hull City
Liverpool
Stoke City
Southampton
Burnley
Bournemouth
Watford
Tottenham
Sunderland
Arsenal
Chelsea
West Ham
Leicester City
Crystal Palace
Middlesbrough
Swansea
2,140
1,924
464
386
313
256
240
155
107
81
38
18
9
1
0
0
0
0
0
0

 

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