Sir Alex Ferguson hasn't lost his belief in bringing young players through to the first team. Unfortunately, the greater competition in the Premier League recently has meant too many matches where he has had to play or retain his better players to get a result.
Saturday's match against Wigan was a case in point. If United had been 4-0 up at half time we probably would have seen Powell on earlier and Cleverly who needs game time.
In the event, Sir Alex was on the verge of bringing on Van Persie, Valencia and Cleverly, but changed after the third goal went in.
Paul Pogba left last season complaining that he had been promised chances in the First Team that never materialised. Zeki Fryers may well have left for similar reasons. Josh King has already said that he will look elsewhere unless he gets chances.
In his case I wouldn't bother. Yes he has some ability and pace, but is too selfish. When you are an established striker you are expected to be selfish but out of the Academy for a while now, King needs to understand that it is about playing in a colleague who is better placed.
Anyhow, he has too many young players ahead of him. Macheda has never had the breaks (although he has not fulfilled the promise he showed when scoring against Villa as a 17-year-old).
Will Keane was apparently not being sent on loan this year and would have got several chances if he hadn't got injured. John Cofie looks a better bet than Josh King. He will be a beast of a striker when he is fully developed.
Angelo Henriquez has a squad number and doesn't look to be going on loan. He has under age caps for Chile and has already been successful in their domestic league.
So, apart from loan spells, there may well be further players who will leave United in the next couple of years, either or both because they aren't good enough or they simply won't get the chances.
The stakes have never been higher for United. That means that home-produced players have to be very, very good, especially when United apparently now have an army of scouts in South America.
So incoming youngsters will raise the bar higher still, and it will be down to the Academy production line lads to see if they can compete.