Liam Brady has had a dig at Manchester United over their development of their young players. The former director of the Arsenal youth academy was speaking to the Sunday Times previewing the upcoming Champions League semi final with Juventus and Real Madrid.
Naturally, the conversation got onto one of Juventus' young stars in Paul Pogba. Pogba has been a revelation since he joined Juventus from Manchester United's academy establishing himself as one of the best midfielder's in the world and rumours of a return to Old Trafford will cost United £158 million on their own academy graduate if they want him back.
Brady says that Pogba would never have wanted to leave had he come through the Arsenal ranks:
You have to be careful with young players. Look what happened with Pogba.
United had him and didn’t play him, which was unusual for Alex Ferguson because he had a good track record with young players. But if Pogba had been at Arsenal, he would still be at Arsenal.
Brady points to the youngsters that Arsene Wenger was willing to bring into the senior team at a young age like Ashley Cole at 17, Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas and Kieran Gibbs and thinks that this gametime would have been enough for Pogba to have wanted to stay.
This is despite Brady acknowledging that Arsenal had difficulty keeping their best players:
We went through a period of not being able to keep our best players: Henry, Cole, Van Persie, Fabregas, Adebayor, Clichy and others.
Interestingly, he is unwavering in his belief about who the best player that came through the Arsenal academy during his time their was:
Ashley Cole got a lot of criticism but I’ve no doubt about the best player to come through our academy. It was Ashley Cole. Also I don’t think it was all Ashley’s fault that he left. There were two sides to that story.
Brady may have spent nine years at Arsenal as a player and returned as their Director of youth academy, but he'll be a Juventus fan this week.
Read more about his experiences as a Juventus player here
See Also: Liam Brady On Being Expelled From School For Choosing Soccer Over GAA
See Also: Paul Scholes Says He May Have Been At Fault For One Of Man United’s Big Regrets
[Sunday Times €]