Rashford and Lingard continue an important Man United tradition

Local youth team graduates have long been a backbone of the club

Manchester United, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard,

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with Manchester United's Jesse Lingard. Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

By appointing Pep Guardiola as manager and having Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano as director of football and chief executive respectively, Manchester City's attempts to follow the Barcelona model are clear.

All three had previously been at Barca and given how admired the Catalan club was during the Guardiola-era, it was no surprise that clubs with lofty aspirations like City would look to them as a model to follow.

Part of that is producing one's own talent through the academy as Barca did so successfully during their recent golden generation via La Masia.

As The Guardian's Jamie Jackson noted on a recent visit to their training complex, all teams from the youngest age groups up to the first team rely on playing around a 4-3-3 template, which mimics Barcelona's methods since the late, great Johan Cruyff first became manager there and left an enduring legacy.

The long term question is, in an age when patience is not a virtue in football and splashing the cash is seen as the answer to problems, how many academy players will actually make it all the way through the system and into the first team?

City are still very early in that development but recent first team squads at least, have generally been lacking in local self-produced players, with the odd exception here and there.

Compare that to the time when City did rely more on bringing through talent during the late '90s and early 2000s when Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge, Stephen Ireland, Joey Barton, Michael Johnson and Shaun Wright Phillips all got chance in the first team.

While Guardiola does tend to give chances to young talent based on his experiences at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, there was a worry that Manchester United would not be so willing to give those type of opportunities to youngsters following the appointment of Jose Mourinho, whose past success has often been built around established, experienced names.

Some players who had established themselves as viable options under his predecessor Louis van Gaal, who has an excellent track record with young players, have received game time across the numerous competitions United have been involved with domestically and in Europe.

Dutchman Timothy Fosu Mensah for example has been a fringe presence, making nine appearances in total with just under half of those coming in the Europa League, with his most recent showing in the competition coming in the Anderlecht first leg when he featured for just one minute as a 91st minute replacement for Henrik Mkhitaryan... and still managing to get booked before the final whistle.

Two cases that do catch the eye are the Mancunian duo Marcus Rashford (19) and Jesse Lingard (24), the latter of whom had made more than 40 appearances in all competitions during Van Gaal's final season.

In that sense, Lingard had established himself to an extent and his abilities are respected. Rashford, of course, grabbed the headlines in the second half of last season with a sensational goal return as he burst onto the scene in time to make England's Euro 2016 squad, including a winning goal in a derby against City last March.

Having often featured on the flank under Mourinho due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's presence, Rashford went six months without a Premier League goal until he found the net against Sunderland in early April and then followed that up with a well taken goal against Chelsea the following match day, before adding the winner against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter final second leg.

Ibrahimovic, unfortunately, is out for the rest of the season with a season ending injury which could give Rashford more opportunities to play centrally - as he did against Chelsea - in competition with Anthony Martial. 

His mentality was also recently praised by Mourinho.

Lingard has received regular game time between starts and impacts from the bench and could hit the 40-game mark again for the season.

In terms of local talent for Man United, Lingard and Rashford's continued presence keeps the tradition of bringing through players that has long been part of the club from the Busby Babes era through to Fergie's Fledgings and even beyond.