Kieran McKenna has his say on Manchester United’s new U18 players

With his group being cut due to promotion in the Reserves’ team, Kieran McKenna saught new players during the summer and in an interview for MUTV, he seemed very happy about it. The U18’s had an impressive season and are trying to do the same this year as they have some good quality players who may become first team regulars if they continue their progression, especially Angel Gomes who has amazed everyone in a such young age. Mason Greenwood has been involved with the U18’s as well and he brings excitement around. However, the U18’s manager had on his focus the players that joined this summer who were announced lately.

Spanish midfielder Arnau Puigmal couldn’t contain himself when he announced that he would be part of United from now on. The manager also had great words to say about him as Arnau had played against our U16’s earlier this year and since then apparently McKenna had set his sight on the Spaniard. One problem usually foreign players have is the language but he is learning, meaning that he really wants to make things work and why not, he can become one of our best academy players, only time will tell.

“He played for Espanyol against our Under-16s at the Med Cup in the second half of last season. He’s a really dynamic, technical midfield player who likes to drive forward and carry the ball. He can handle the ball really well and seems a lovely young man too. His English is coming along and he’s settling well, so I am sure he’ll enjoy his time at the club.”

Another addition this summer is Largie Ramazani who joined from Charlton and after being for a few weeks at the club, already being involved (on the bench) in the U18’s match against Stoke City, it’s probably time for him to make his contribution to the side, help them beat Derby County. The decision is in the manager’s hands and let’s see if we will see him in action in that game.

“Largie is a tricky wide player who was with Charlton and likes to play on either side. He is very two-footed and likes to score goals. He has a bubbly personality and usually has a smile on his face around the place. He is one of the younger ones but I am sure he can do very well.”                                                          

Involved in few U18’s games Millen Baars joined the side earlier this summer and has been expecting his moment to shine. Kieran Mckenna’s boys seem ready and prepared, while tend to lose a bit in the physical aspects and this is exactly what the former Tottenham U18’s manager has seen on him. Of course work never stops when it comes to the new lads and they are treating everyone very carefully.

“Millen was waiting for quite a while as he’s been training at the club. He has had to wait for his clearance to come through but is a really physically impressive player. He is a wide player with a long stride and is really graceful in the way he moves. He strikes the ball well off both feet and we’re working really hard to turn him into an effective game player. If we can do that, he’s got such good talent.”

Last season the group was solid and they played beautifully in every match I had the chance to watch. Promotion to the U23’s clearly shows that those players had a great time at the U18’s and development continues as everything has just started for this young players. Quality before quantity, that’s why United’s academy is the best academy in the country and one of the best in Europe. Academy chief Nicky Butt is proud of the work so far and is expecting more. Obviously the squad, that Kieran McKenna has gathered may win the FA Youth Cup. Let’s see.

Written by Fabiola Cejku


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