The seven Man Utd youngsters Fergie praised in 2001 – and where they are now

Sir Alex Ferguson had an eye for a young player, and in 2001 the legendary Manchester United boss picked out seven prospects who he thought had bright futures ahead of them.

Fergie had form in this department having nurtured the Class of 92, which contained the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.

Just after the turn of the millennium, Ferguson was looking to the future – and optimism was high about his latest bunch of potential stars in United's academy.

Daily Star Sport have taken a look at where Fergie's magnificent seven are now.

Darren Fletcher

Darren Fletcher was never the most glamorous player, but he enjoyed a fine career with the Red Devils.

The Scotsman made 342 appearances at Old Trafford and helped United to five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

He later joined Stoke City and West Brom before returning to Manchester as United's Under 16s coach in 2020.

Fletcher was promoted to a first team coach in January 2021 and is now the club's Technical Director.

Michael Stewart

Unlike Fletcher, Michael Stewart's Manchester United career failed to ever really get off the ground.

The midfielder made just eight appearances under Ferguson before joining Hibernian in 2005.

After spells at Hearts, Genclerbirligi and Charlton, Stewart retired from football aged 30 in 2011.

Since then, the Scotsman has worked as a pundit for the likes of BBC Scotland and BT Sport.

Luke Chadwick

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  • Luke Chadwick was destined for great things at United, and although the winger won the Premier League title in 2001, he never managed to live up to his potential.

    Chadwick left Old Trafford in 2004 and enjoyed spells at West Ham, Stoke, Norwich, and Cambridge, helping the U's to promotion from the Conference in 2014.

    He now helps recruit coaches for the The Football Fun Factory, which seeks to create 'incredible football experiences for boys and girls of all ages.'

    John O'Shea

    John O'Shea lived up to Ferguson's billing and made 394 appearances for United across 12 memorable seasons.

    He made a further 256 appearances for Sunderland before retiring with Reading in the Championship in 2019.

    O'Shea has remained the Madejski Stadium as a First Team Coach under current boss Veljko Paunovic.

    Paul Tierney

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    Left-back Paul Tierney featured just once in six seasons at United – a 2-0 League Cup defeat against West Brom in 2003.

    He departed Old Trafford in 2005 and played for Livingston, Blackpool, Stockport and Altrincham, but never made more than 20 appearances for any individual clubs.

    Nowadays, Tierney works as a Council Tax Team Leader for Salford City Council.

    Danny Pugh

    Danny Pugh made a grand total of seven appearances for United before being let go by Ferguson in 2004.

    The midfielder-cum-left-back enjoyed a decent career in the top two divisions and played for clubs including Leeds, Preston, Stoke, Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City.

    Pugh retired with Port Vale in 2020 and has remained at the club ever since as a coach. He has also taken charge of the team twice on a caretaker basis.

    Kieran Richardson

    Plucked from West Ham's youth system at the age of 16, Kieran Richardson was one of United's most exciting young players.

    The Greenwich-born winger wanted to become a 'legend' at Old Trafford, but in the end turned out just 81 times for the club.

    He remained in the Premier League with Sunderland, Fulham and Aston Villa before retiring with Cardiff City in 2017.

    Richardson, who also won eight England caps, attempted to come out of retirement in 2019, but there were no takers.

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