The iconic Manchester United manager has previously identified seven players destined for greatness, although not all of them have reached the heights expected.
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Sir Alex Ferguson arguably the greatest football manager of all time.
In an industry where those who make the least mistakes prosper, From Manchester United The iconic former boss ensures any errors of judgment are few and far between.
Even so, even a man who has won everything Ferguson has is not immune to the oddly evil prediction.
After the excitement of winning Premier League Then came the seventh time, Ferguson’s spirits were clearly high and the Scotsman was optimistic about the future ahead of United.
So much so that the Red Devils boss identified seven players who were plying their trade with United’s youth team at the time and put them on the big foot.
Ferguson revealed: “Darren Fletcher, who we hope will get over his broken leg, is very good. Michael Stewart and Luke Chadwick are doing very well, and John O’Shea is doing very well.”
“There is a young left-back named Paul Tierney who is playing well, so is Danny Pugh.
“But there’s a boy who’s started now, he’s 16, named Kieran Richardson. He’s going to be a great player.”
Needless to say, not all of them achieved what Ferguson suggested.
Here are all seven with a look at how they played at United and beyond.
Although O’Shea technically ended his career with more trophies, Fletcher played a more significant role during his time in United’s first team.
After being named in the squad for the final game of the 1999/00 season, Fletcher’s first team debut would not come for another three years until he started against Basel in 2003.
342 appearances later and Fletcher called in his stay to join West Brom after a serious bowel condition plagued the final days of his time at Old Trafford.
He came back and became the technical director of the club.
O’Shea also spent 12 years at United and made 256 appearances over the course of playing in a number of different positions for his side.
The Irishman experienced his final peak of scoring against a winner at Anfield most recently and even captaining his side in a Champions League knockout tie.
After joining the faltering Sunderland in 2011, where he suffered several relegations, O’Shea stayed with Reading for the last of his playing career in 2018.
A season later and the former Republic of Ireland international moved in as manager.
He is currently the first team coach of Madejski Stadium.
A midfielder leans in to fill the ‘Golden Ball’ boots, Chadwick is at Burnely while David Beckham is at the Bernabeu.
His 38 first-team opportunities were limited to cup competitions or mostly coming off the bench.
After leaving Old Trafford at the end of the 2004 season, Chadwick became a journeyman for the rest of his career.
Spell at West HamStoke and Norwich followed for five years at MK dons before retiring after stints with Cambridge United and the Soham Town Rangers youth team.
He is currently coaching back at Cambridge still at a high level following their memorable FA Cup win Newcastle early this season.
Although it didn’t quite go as expected for Richardson at United, he still achieved plenty in the game and even made eight England caps to show for his efforts.
The former Three Lions man spent five years at United before making the same transition as O’Shea (albeit four years before that) and joining Sunderland.
Richardson briefly tried out with Spanish side Granada at the end of 2017, but a permanent deal did not come to fruition.
Pugh’s first appearance for the first team at United was in the Champions League when he came on for Ruud van Nistelrooy against Maccabi Haifa.
It would be the first of just seven appearances for the Reds before he was exiled to fierce United rivals Leeds in a move that saw Alan Smith go the other way.
This was followed by more matches at Preston North End and Stoke City, as well as a second at Elland Road in 2012.
His playing career ended at Port Vale, where he then spent three years as a manager before leaving the club last May.
Stewart played in front of United fans eight times over a seven-year period before he returned to his native Scotland.
He left the Reds for Hibs in 2005, but rose to headlines two years later when he joined fierce rivals Hearts on a permanent basis.
His playing days ended dismal in the form of a nine-match at Charlton.
After retiring from football, Stewart applied to be the Scottish National Party candidate in 2015 general election nomination is not guaranteed.
Tierney only made one appearance for the club in 2003.
That opening match came against West Brom in the League Cup before he followed Stewart to Scotland to focus on Livingston.
He lasted only one season there before returning to England to join Blackpool, where he played 10 games in two years.
Tierney’s last three games were spent with Altrincham in Manchester.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/manutd-youngsters-ferguson-fletcher-academy-26332077 7 young Man Utd players backed by Sir Alex Ferguson to star - and what happens next