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Man United's Young Players Waxed Lyrical About Ryan Giggs Following His Departure

Gavan Casey
By Gavan Casey
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After 29 years, 963 appearances, 168 goals and 34 trophies, Manchester United's most decorated player has left for pastures anew as he seeks to establish himself in the world of football management.

In the eyes of many United fans, Giggs' tenure as assistant coach to both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal will be considered a failure. The omission of the aforementioned Scot in Giggs' farewell statement to the club was glaring, but having spent a playing career under Sir Alex Ferguson and survived unquestionably testing times under Van Gaal - with whom he appeared to maintain a close working relationship despite what one might describe as 'creative differences' - there remains a perception that the 42-year-old can return to the Old Trafford helm in the future.

That notion has certainly been bolstered by the tributes that poured in on social media via United's younger generation of players, with two common themes prevalent in almost every homage to the Welshman: He was an icon, and he improved them as footballers.

And while Instagram was aflood with messages declaring the long-reigning winger a legend, goalkeeper David De Gea's ode to Giggs over on Twitter was somewhat more curt, if equally effective.



Michael Carrick, Daley Blind, Chris Smalling and Ander Hererra were amongst the 'senior players' to give thanks to their outgoing assistant manager - or in Carrick and Smalling's case, former teammate.

It's the youngsters, however, most of whom never lined out alongside Giggs, whose messages - however short or cliché - make for intriguing reading considering the perception from some United fans that the 2009 Players' Player of the Year added little behind the scenes.

Indeed, it's Louis van Gaal who has somewhat begrudgingly been credited with the emergence of potential stars such as Marcus Rashford and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, and yet the reaction from similar names to the Dutchman's departure following United's FA Cup victory in May was non-existent. Admittedly, the Dutchman can hardly be considered a United legend and therefore players at the club would naturally feel less compelled to bid him farewell in such fashion. But in his short spell as caretaker manager in 2014, Giggs' respect for United's tradition of blooding youth was conspicuous for all to see as both James Wilson and Tom Lawrence made their first team bows in his final game in charge.


Back in March, Memphis Depay told us:

Ryan Giggs is a legend. He talks a lot with me.

He gives me advice. He experienced everything already so he can help me with those kind of things. I don't want to go into details but he works a lot with me.

And while those learnings never truly translated themselves to the field of play last season, it's possible that Giggs' influence on United's up-and-comers in the past few years may have been underestimated by an understandably frustrated United faithful.


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