Matic: Manchester United fans need to be patient over Greenwood and Co

Manchester United's impressive academy products are talented but too young to lead the club, Nemanja Matic has warned.

Ex-Chelsea man Nemanja Matic is a strong contender to be named Manchester United captain following Antonio Valencia's departure.   -  Getty Images

Nemanja Matic wants Manchester United fans to be patient as future stars like Mason Greenwood find their feet at the top level.

United has beaten Serie A side Inter and Premier League rival Tottenham as part of an impressive pre-season campaign.

Young forward Greenwood, 17, has forced his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-team plans, while fellow teenagers Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes also appear set for bigger roles.

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Optimism for a successful season is growing but midfielder Matic warned the Old Trafford faithful against expecting too much, too soon.

"Football fans want results, of course, especially at a club like Manchester United," the Serbia international told reporters.

"But you need to give the young players time because at 17 you cannot play in the same way like you're 26 or 27. The fans have to be patient so they can improve.

"I am happy guys like Mason are getting a chance and using it in the best way. I want to see them playing regularly for United and I'm sure if they continue like this they will."

Ex-Chelsea man Matic is a strong contender to be named United captain following Antonio Valencia's departure. David de Gea and Paul Pogba also feature among a small pool of options, with Matic admitting the Red Devils are light on leaders.

"We have five or six top, top players but they are still young – players like Rashford, Martial and Greenwood," the 30-year-old said.

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"In the future we can expect them to lead the team. They have the quality, they have shown that on the pitch, but they are too young to lead the team.

"I am happy to see them every day improving and learning in training and I am sure later they will bring United back to where it belongs. We have a lot of young players, Mason Greenwood is one of them.

"He has great potential, we can all see that and for sure United have a project and know what they have to do, particularly with those players of the future."

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