Manchester United will welcome a host of new professionals into the U21 set up this week with the news that seven of last years U18 team have signed their first professional contracts with the club. The list of players who have done enough to earn a new deal is Kieran O’Hara, Ryan McConnell, Callum Evans, Josh Harrop, Sean Goss, Matt Willock and Ashley Fletcher.
The players are all too old for Academy football now having either already turned 18 or about to. Most of the players to have signed on were regulars for the U18 team last season with the exception of Kieran O’Hara who spent most of the season playing senior football while on a work place loan at Trafford FC.
The players join last years U18 team mates Joel Pereira, Saidy Janko, Andreas Pereira and James Wilson who had all signed their professional deals earlier and who all made the step up to U21 football and in Wilson’s case senior football last season.
With a long list of players coming back from loan as well as some promising players in the U18 team United’s U21 squad is very large and the club will have to plan loan moves as well as moving on a lot of players in order to give the players adequate game time to develop and avoid a similar situation to last year where the likes of Liam Grimshaw and Donald Love got very little football.