Nicky Butt thinks Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford is already a "£50m ($66.7m) player". The head of coaching at the club's youth academy explained that the Reds are determined to invest in their youth team because they will occasionally unearth a gem like Rashford.
The 18-year-old forward has made a stellar start to life in the first team and has established himself as one of the most exciting young players in Europe. Butt – who graduated from the United academy in the 1990s – admitted it is worth throwing eye-watering sums of money at youth football to produce players like Rashford.
"At Manchester United, we can compete with anybody if we want to. You've seen with [Paul] Pogba," he said, according to The Times. "That's the first team but we've bought a few young players who've cost us a lot of money.
"If we don't pay it we know City, Chelsea or even Everton, who are really aggressive in the market, will pay it. Economically, they're right to do it. If you get a player like Marcus, and he does what he did last year this year, he's a £50m player straight away. It's an investment."
Meanwhile, Butt has also defended the decision to re-sign Pogba for a world-record fee of £89m. Pogba made a handful of appearances in the United first team under Sir Alex Ferguson – and Butt has no qualms with the decision to re-sign him.
"It's massive for us to have Pogba, the record transfer to come through our academy," he said of the United midfielder, who rejoined the club from Juventus earlier this summer. "Ultimately if the manager [Ferguson] doesn't want to put them in [when Pogba broke through initially], it doesn't mean the academy has done a bad job. It just means he's not right for him at that time."