Welsh wing wizard Ryan Giggs was one such starlet. When/if he finally retires, his stunning success will be demonstrated by the fact that the next kid to come off the Old Trafford production line will almost certainly have to live with the tag 'The New Ryan Giggs'.
He made his debut in 1991, was a first team regular the season after that and, barring an injury-influenced dip in form just over halfway through his career, has been a United stalwart ever since.
His longevity as a player has helped him become the most decorated player in English football history, with 13 league titles, two Champions League medals and a host of other trophies and awards.
His durability is down to his healthy, fitness-conscious lifestyle and an ability to adapt his playing style to the limits his body can comfortably live with. Starting out as an explosive, sinewy winger, Giggs slowly turned himself into a more deep-lying central midfielder who relies on speed of thought over out and out pace.
In such a long and illustrious career, it is almost impossible to pick out a highlight. But Giggs' amazing 50-yard run past most of the Arsenal team, culminating in a blistering finish (and mad, shirt-waving celebration to follow) during the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay will be shown long after he finally hangs up his boots.
If he ever does, that is.
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