Darren Fletcher
Darren Fletcher Reuters

Darren Fletcher has urged Manchester United's youngsters to prove their worth on loan before trying to establish themselves at Old Trafford.

The Premier League giants are expected to appoint Louis Van gaal as their new manager this week, and are preparing to unleash a wave of fresh talent into the first team next season.

The Dutch boss was the manager who gave Victor Valdes, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta their debuts in Barcelona's first team while Thomas Muller also earned his first chance at Bayern Munich under him.

And after Adnan Januzaj broke through this season, James Wilson and Tom Lawrence are expected to follow the Belgium international's footsteps sooner rather than later – having already made their debuts during the 3-1 victory over Hull two weeks ago.

Lawrence himself had two loan experiences at Carlisle United and Yeovil Town before earning his first-team debut and Fletcher believes other youngsters should mirror him in the future.

"You see some of the lads go out and come back while others go and thrive," Fletcher told Manchester United's official website.

"It sets you up for playing against men. All due respect to the Under-21s but it's just a step up from the youth team really. It's not like back in the day when you played against men and older players.

"It's about going out to compete against men in matches that means something, whether that's staying in the league, play-off places or even the other players have got contracts to fight for by staying in the league."

Even though Fletcher hasn't enjoyed a spell on loan, he believes that is a much-needed experience to mature and get an easier adaptation into the first team.

"That side of things is important. They will see a lot of things in the dressing room, like arguments, which will make them into men. They need that so, when they come back, they walk differently, and are more comfortable around the first-team players. Hence, they're more comfortable when they train with the first team."

Furthermore, the United midfielder has heaped praise on youngster Joe Rothwell, hoping to see him in the first team in the near future.

"He's improved all year and, by coming up against him in training, I know how much quality he has got. Once he develops physically, I think we're going to have a good player on our hands."