Van Gaal: Youth is my United legacy

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes he will leave a positive legacy at the club when he departs.

The Dutchman’s contract ends in 2017 and he has yet to win any silverware in Manchester since joining the club two seasons ago. His future is up in the air, as reports continue to name former Chelsea manager Jose Morinho as his possible replacement at the end of the season.

United are currently sitting outside the Premier League top four by six points, but whether he leaves at the end of the season or next year, Van Gaal said he was proud to have called on so many young stars during his stay at the club.

“It is always good that you educate your own players, in the culture of Manchester United and also the playing style of Manchester United,” he told The Independent.

“It is very important, but I have taken a risk in minimising my squad to accommodate young players because when you have a lot of injuries, you have problems. But now I have given the chance to Lingard, Borthwick-Jackson also, while Martial and Memphis [Depay] are also very young.

“You have seen Xavi and Iniesta, for example, I gave them their debuts at Barcelona. Also Thiago Motta, but they [young players] have to do it themselves.

“But when I leave, I cannot help them anymore, they do it by themselves, and that is also very good because I am only a means to an end for them. They do it by themselves, but maybe I can be a very good means for my players.”

The former Barcelona mentor hopes for continuity and that his passion for development and giving young players a chance will be seen as his legacy at Manchester United.

“I hope people will look back in the future and talk of the young players as my legacy, but you can never tell,” van Gaal added.

“The next manager would also have to show the confidence in the younger players. So I cannot judge. If United, after I retire, hire a manager who does not give the benefit of the doubt to youngsters, it shall be very difficult.”

“It is also very important for the board of Manchester United to look at the profile of the new manager. If they ask [for a recommendation as manager], I shall give my opinion and after that, they can do what they wish. But I never reign beyond my grave and, when I am gone, I cannot influence or contribute.”