Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the Europa League is the perfect launchpad for Manchester United’s youngsters.
The Red Devils face FC Copenhagen in a single-leg quarter-final in Germany on Monday night.
And Solskjaer believes United’s participation in the tournament has allowed the likes of Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood to prove their ability to play first-team football.
“We went into this season knowing that Europa League is a great chance for us one to get a trophy, to get far in a tournament,” he said ahead of United’s one-legged last-eight tie in Cologne.
“But also to groom a few of the youngsters and it was perfect for us.
“I think if we’d been in the Champions League this season – of course we all want to be the Champions League – I probably or maybe wouldn’t have had the chance to play the likes of Brandon (Williams) as much as we have, Mason (Greenwood) – so many of the young kids who have now started what’s going to be fantastic careers.
“The Europa League has also been about that as well. It’s about keeping the squad together, have a group that is working together and giving people chances.
“When they take them – Brandon is going to play in a quarter-final in the Europa League. It’s a great achievement for him this season and it’s a perfect for us.”