Manchester United are pushing to sign 18-year-old Malcolm Ebiowei who will become a free agent at the end of the month after leaving Derby County this summer according to Jonathan Shrager. It will be sad for Derby to lose a player like him who is considered one for the future.
It would seem unlikely that Ebiowei would become part of Erik ten Hag’s first team squad this summer, if United managed to convince the player to sign for the Old Trafford club but he would most likely play U23 football before being given a chance to prove himself in the future.
The 18-year-old has been linked to Crystal Palace already this summer and could perhaps see himself linked to other teams but the fact it has been stated that his representatives seem interested in a move to United, could say a lot for his future.
Last season, Ebiowei made a total of 29 appearances, 16 of which were in the Championship. The rest were in the U18 Premier League, Premier League 2 and the FA Youth Cup. He scored a total of eight goals (one in the Championship), also registering three assists (two in the Championship).
Wayne Rooney, the current Derby County manager and record goal scorer at United seems to have had faith in Ebiowei, who averaged 13.59 dribbles per 90 in the Championship last season, with 48.1% of those successful. Rooney spoke about the teenager, saying;
“I thought he was excellent all game, the best player on the pitch. It was one of the best performances I have seen from a young player, consistently for 90 minutes, in a long time.”
Ebiowei also made 4.97 progressive runs per 90 in the Championship, which is a tough league to play in especially when you factor in the plight of Derby last season after their posts deduction and their battle to avoid relegation, which could not be avoided.
I am sure the player himself will know that despite making his first team debut at Derby, he is by no means the finished article and heading to a team such as United, especially after they wn the FA Youth Cup last season, could help him nurture his talents.
It is a possibility that in a few years time, if everything works out right for the player, whether he signs for United, Palace or whoever else is involved in the race to sign him, he could be a player that will be ready for the rigours of the Premier League.
With United bringing in Erik ten Hag as the new permanent manager, replacing Ralf Rangnick (interim) and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, I am sure that youth prospects at the club will see his work with the youth at Ajax and feel inspired that they themselves could find progression under him.
Written by John Walker