Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney insists the club is facing a bright future regardless of the way their season ends.
Louis van Gaal’s side head into their final Premier League game with AFC Bournemouth with a two-point deficit to Manchester City, who occupy the final Champions League spot.
Sunday’s match begins a crucial week for United, who face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final next Saturday looking to end a trophy drought stretching back to 2013.
Rooney, however, was keen to highlight the potential in the youngsters who have flourished under Van Gaal as proof of their long-term chances of success.
“It’s always exciting working with young players,” Rooney told United Review. “People forget how young Anthony Martial is .
“The club bought him so he hasn’t come through the academy, but he’s still only a really young lad.
“He’s still learning, improving and the same goes with the likes of Memphis Depay, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, so it’s an exciting time for the club.
“Hopefully they keep improving as players and it’ll be a really bright future for Manchester United.”
Rashford has enjoyed a remarkable rise at Old Trafford this season, having scored seven goals in 16 appearances since making his debut in February, and Rooney says allowing the 18-year-old to enjoy his football is the best way to encourage his development further.
“I think at the minute he’s a young lad and he doesn’t need that much advice from me,” said the England captain. “Just let him play and enjoy his football.
“I’m sure there’ll be a time when he does need it from myself, from the manager, from [assistant manager Ryan] Giggs and from other players. But I think the most important thing for him and the team is to just let him go and play and enjoy it.”