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Manchester United looking to continue Academy resurgence with two new names…

Manchester United seem to have commenced their Academy recruitment this summer with Goal reporting that 16-year-old French midfielder Aliou Badara Traore could be heading to the AON Training Complex ready for the start of the new season. Traore will spend the season with United’s U18, coached by Kieran McKenna and will reportedly sign a professional contract on his 17th birthday in January, which has been reported by The Mirror, with Goal, the source of the claims, saying:

“Although reports suggested that the midfielder had previously signed for the Old Trafford outfit, a deal was completed only last week, with Juventus having tried to move in and complete his signing. Manchester City were also interested in the player. Traore, who will turn 17 in January, has penned a four-year professional contract with Jose Mourinho’s outfit, though the first of these will be spent in the youth team.”

Traore has previously played for Paris Saint-Germain and quit after he did not feel he would get enough game time to continue his development. Juventus and Manchester City were also said to be interested in the teenager. Traore, a regular for France’s U16 side, is the only player in that squad who does not with a professional team, which seems to no longer be the case for the player. United’s youth set up has been worked on over the last twelve months, going from losing twelve U18 Premier League matches in a row during the 2015/16 season, losing coach Paul McGuinness, before the club turning the group around with some great signings to aid the talent already at the club, rampaging in the same league last season, scoring goal after goal, week after week.

The U18’s have seen another player arrive at the club this summer with Ethan Galbraith, the U17 captain for Northern Ireland, be confirmed as a United player, albeit by the Northern Ireland Football Association. The 16-year-old has already agreed on a three-year contract with the Old Trafford outfit and will travel to Manchester this weekend to complete his deal, which is where an official announcement from the club will probably be made, pending formalities, of course. Galbraith’s contract will consist of an initial one-year scholarship and then a two-year professional deal. It does seem that United’s head of Academy Nicky Butt means business, continuing to strengthen the U18 squad in a bid to bring the talent out of the rest of the players, aiming to dominate youth football once again.

The future looks very good for United. The U18’s may well see some of their talented players move up a level to the U23’s this summer, which is why reinforcements will be needed to cover the void, but players may also move up from the U16 age group this summer, aiming to earn their chances and prove themselves in a bid to kickstart their own careers at the club, which will be a dream come true for many. Youth does seem to be the future, despite many suggesting the manager, Jose Mourinho does not trust youth, something he clearly does and has a keen eye on. Perhaps those who are deemed God-like, Pep Guardiola for instance, should take a leaf out of Mourinho’s book when it comes to youth, who just do not seem to be coming through at Manchester City – despite having ‘the best Academy in the world’ – apparently!

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