Louis van Gaal has said he is very disappointed after being sacked as Manchester United manager two seasons into a three-year contact. “I believe that the foundations are firmly in place to enable the club to move forward and achieve even greater success,” said the 64-year-old. Van Gaal gave debuts to 14 academy graduates, including midfielder Jesse Lingard, who scored the winner in Saturday’s FA Cup final, and striker Marcus Rashford, who has netted eight goals since making his debut in February, earning a call-up to the England squad. Van Gaal added: “It has been a pleasure to work with the players and it has been particularly rewarding to see so many young players take their chance to break into the first team and excel. I look forward to watching the continued development of these young players next season.” “It has been an honour to manage such a magnificent club as Manchester United, and in doing so, I have fulfilled a long-held ambition,” he said in a statement.
“I am immensely proud to have helped United win the FA Cup for the 12th time in the club’s history. I have been privileged during my management career to have won 20 trophies but winning the FA Cup, which is steeped in so much history, will always be one of the most special achievements of my career. ” “I would also like to express my gratitude to the amazing United supporters. They are truly the best fans in the world.” His statement also thanked everyone at the club from directors – including former manager Sir Alex Ferguson and club legend Bobby Charlton – through to the catering team and kit and laundry department, adding “never in my 25 years as a manager have I been so well supported in my role”.