Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has lavished praise on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal for his commitment to introducing young players into the first team.

Van Gaal has been credited with giving some of Europe's best players the opportunities to establish themselves throughout his career. The Dutchman handed both Iniesta and fellow midfielder Xavi their debuts at the Nou Camp in 2002 and 1998 respectively while he was also credited with handing Thomas Muller a consistent first role during his spell in charge of Bayern Munich in 2009.

Although the United boss has wasted little time in adding Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera to his squad at Old Trafford, Iniesta firmly believes his former coach will maintain his tradition of looking within the club's youth ranks and providing a platform for emerging young talent.

"He lays down the law to the veterans, so you can imagine when you are just young and have just graduated to the senior squad," Iniesta told BarcaTV.

"But the truth is he is someone who I have very special memories of. He is someone who had something very clear – he took risks with young players."

A host of youngsters who have been on the periphery of the first team at Old Trafford will be hoping to follow Andan Januzaj's rise to prominence and make an impression on van Gaal. Forward Jesse Lingard was one of the club's outstanding players during their pre-season tour of Asia last summer and after two impressive loan spells with Birmingham City and Brighton, will be eager to challenge for a squad role at the club.

Following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, centre half Michael Keane will be hoping he is given the chance to compete with Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones for first team opportunities should the club choose not to add a new option to their defence.

And after his two goal debut against Hull City last season the highly rated James Wilson will be hoping van Gaal sees the promise that has seen the 18-year-old identified as the club's brightest attacking talent.