Premier stars of yesteryear, Ian Wright and Peter Schmeichel have said that Manchester United should draw encouragement from the impressive performances of their emerging young talents at Old Trafford.

For a side that is used to challenging at the top end of the table, Manchester United are on course for another distinctly average result this season. After Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham, they are currently in seventh position on the table, but with a goal difference of negative five and the teams behind them with games in hand, they could easily slip down to tenth.

But despite this Schmeichel said that fans should look at the situation positively as a chance to build for the future.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live the former Old Trafford keeper said: “Over the course of the last two months, we’ve seen some really promising young players; Kobbie Mainoo for instance, enter into the team, so when you look into the team or the players available now, you’ve got some very exciting players.

“Also, Garnacho is only 20, Hojlund is only 20, you’ve got Pellistri there, you’ve got a crop of young players that are promising a lot for the future.

“This is an opportunity. When it’s not going in the direction that you were hoping for this season, it is an opportunity to build a team that will do that in the future. Will the leadership go for that? I really, really hope that they are going to look at these players and think “so here is something that in a couple of years can be competitive”.

“Over the last 11 years, we’ve tried to buy the big players, tried to spend the big money. We now have a lot of players you can build on and hopefully, in the next couple of months and years, that becomes an investment in the future and not trying to blindly chase that top four position.”

Schmeichel’s thoughts were echoed by pundit and former Arsenal striker Ian Wright who told BBC’s Match of the Day 2: “Give Kobbie Mainoo the keys, because when you look at the way he plays, his calmness, his maturity for his age, the positions he picks up, he’s somebody now.

“I’m looking at Manchester United still playing counter-attacking football at home when you’ve got a player in midfield that can progress the ball and play the ball with such calmness, such fluidity. I’d love to see Mainoo where he’s in a situation where he’s then able to get the ball and just put it forward.

“At some stage, just let him play, let him be the orchestrator – progressing the ball and getting the ball and playing the ball – so that the front men, instead of having to continually try and run for transition, come and play, link play, one-twos. Start playing football,” he said.