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Ones to Watch: Dillon Hoogewerf – young, hungry and destined to score the goals for United and a dream to reach the big time

Dillon Hoogewerf arrived at Manchester United’s academy in the summer of 2019, leaving the academy of Ajax as a 16-year-old. United had signed many Dutch players in the past with Tahith Chong, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Millen Baars some of those in the past eight years or so. Hoogewerf was considered as one of the star performers from the Ajax academy, a club that United have a good relationship with, most recently signing Donny van de Beek from the club in the summer of 2020. Hoogewerf was born on the 27 February 2003 and will turn 18 next month.

The Dutch forward would prefer to play as the centre-forward but can also feature on the left and right wing, meaning he shows a lot of promise in any attacking role. He has played for his country, the Netherlands at U15, U16 and U17 level, making a total of 19 appearances, scoring ten goals. During his first season at United, Hoogewerf made a total of 19 appearances, scoring seven goals and one assist, playing at U18 and U23 level, featuring for the club in the FA Youth Cup, also on the bench in the Papa John’s Trophy. Hoogewerf made his debut against Sunderland at U18 level, scoring his first goal against Blackburn Rovers at that level.

At U23 level, Hoogewerf made his debut against Aston Villa, a 4-1 defeat, scoring his first goal against Reading, a 4-1 victory. The young Dutchman made a total of 16 appearances at U18 level, playing in the U18 Premier League 13 times and the FA Youth Cup three times, scoring six goals, three in the U18 Premier League and three in the FA Youth Cup, assisting one goal, in the U18 Premier League. At U23 level, Hoogewerf made three appearances in the Premier League 2, scoring one goal. He is a talented player and will be seeking to get the best from his career at United, being tested between the U18 and U23 levels of the game.

United already had a plan devised for Hoogewerf before his transfer from Ajax, which suggests that the club had done their homework on the player and had focussed on all his attributes and devised the plan. United would like to get the player into the first team as soon a possible, which is always the intention with the club. However, it would be on the specific player to make that grade and the now 17-year-old has a good chance of doing that in the future. Speaking to Ajax Show Time and reported by the Manchester Evening News in March 2020, Hoogewerf spoke about signing for United and their intentions, saying:

“I want to [make my] debut as quickly as possible. That is why I went there. Manchester United came up with a good plan and the intention to make me debut at an early age.

“In England it is more conditional and more physical.

“Defending is not my strength. If I can fight there and do what I did in the Netherlands, then I think I can handle any competition.

“Especially the matches are really tough. It’s different than in the Netherlands.

“If you play against a club from the second league there, you can still expect a lot. If you play against NAC Breda here, it is likely that you will win.”

During the current season, Hoogewerf has focussed on U18 football, not featuring for the club in the Papa John’s Trophy, their second season in the competition, and seldom featuring at U23 level. The 17-year-old has made eight appearances at U18 level, playing a total of 452 minutes of football, scoring four goals and three assists. At U23 level, playing in the Premier League 2, the Dutchman has made just one appearance, playing 19 minutes against Southampton in a 3-1 victory for the club. He has not scored or assisted any goals at the higher level.

Hoogewerf scored his first hat-trick for United in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle United in the U18 Premier League on the 28 November 2020 at the clubs Aon training complex in Carrington. He scored his first goal of the new season against Stoke City, scoring the only goal of the game the weekend before. He has also assisted three goals for the U18 side this season, assisting his first in the opening match of the season, a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, then assisting twice in the 5-1 victory over Burnley a week later. United have done well at U18 level this season and currently top the league by three points.

United do not feature in the U18 Premier League until the 16 January when they face Liverpool, the team they have a game in hand over, and an important three point lead at the top of the table. A victory there will see United sit six points clear over their North West rivals, which will be a fitting start to the New Year. United will play in the FA Youth Cup three days earlier facing Salford City. If they win that match, they will face either Liverpool or Sutton United in the fourth round. Hoogewerf will be wanting to win a trophy this season, if he can which would be a fitting start to the rest of his career, which will be at U23 level and beyond.

Hoogewerf will rival with Joe Hugill, who signed for the club from Sunderland in the summer with the forward playing more matches at U23 level than at U18 level, playing 12 times, scoring four goals and one assist at the higher level, playing four times and scoring six goals and one assist at the U18 level. Hoogewerf will have the time to show his ability at both levels, moving up to the U23 level at some point, with him turning 18 in February. This will give him the chance to see if he has what it takes to reach the first team, which is a level that he talent could propel him to at some point in his career.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United sign ‘unique footballing talent’ with player joining academy

Manchester United look set to complete the signing of Norwegian teenager Isak Hansen-Aarøen. The player is due to turn 16 on Saturday (22 August 2020). The teenager became the youngest ever player for Tromsø when he made his debut at 15 years 319 days earlier this season and featured seven times in the clubs first team, coming from the bench and assisting in his final appearance for the club in a 5-0 victory over Sandnes Ulf. The teenager has also scored three goals in three appearances for Norway U16s.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had Scandanavia scouted during his time as United manager, seeking to find the best young talent in the region and the club reportedly feel that they have signed a great talent in Hansen-Aarøen. Tromsø wished the teenager well in a post on their Instagram account Friday, confirming that the player has now left the club. The post , according to The Mirror, stated:

“A wonderful person. A unique football talent. Who just loves to play football now.

“From Fløya to TIL as a junior, into the academy as a 10-year-old, learns at the TIL school and debut for the first team as a 15-year-old. Assist in his last match for Tromsø IL.

“Thank you so much for the last ten years and good luck in Manchester United and on in your career. We hope you have a great time, see you soon.”

United have seemingly been scouring the glob to bring in the best talent to the clubs academy, making waves last summer, especially with the arrival of Hannibal Mejbri. This summer, the arrival of Hansen-Aarøen will be seen as a good acquisition with the player being highly-rated at Tromsø. United have already confirmed the signings of Joe Hugill, Logan Pye and Radek Vitek. The club has also been linked with Manchester City academy player Charlie McNeill, Barcelona fullback Marc Jurado and Real Madrid left-back Alvaro Fernandez Carreras.

As United look set to complete their summer spending at academy level, it is yet to be seen what moves United make when it comes to the first team, which needs some work this summer, in more than one position. The academy seems to be in the right hands though. Neil Ryan, the manager of the U18 team seems to be getting the player in that he feels will add something to his team and more importantly, add something to the club as they work to impress the manager at various age groups.

As Hansen-Aarøen has already had a sniff of first team action, he will be seeking to get a taste at United but he will probably have to wait a year or two for that, unless he plays in a pre-season friendly for the first tea, this summer, which might be doubtful. The player will be seeking to impress his coaches and earn a place in the U18 squad next season. It is possible that he could play at a younger level, but based on reports of the player’s ability, the U18 squad is the level he will probably start at, being tested at U19 level in the UEFA Youth League and possibly at U23 level.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United swooping in on Manchester City academy star Charlie McNeill

Manchester United are reportedly confident in signing Manchester City academy star Charlie McNeill this summer. The 16-year-old is reported to have scored 600 goals during his career so far, left United in 2014, a club he supports and one that he played for at junior levels. It is stated by the Daily Mail that City would like to sell the player for a seven figure sum also including a number of additional performance-related clauses. He could well be a talent, if given the opportunity to shine.

Both clubs have hit a stalemate in negotiations though. The player will turn 17 on the 9 September 2020 and if he crosses that date and rejects a professional contract at City, United would be able to sign him with compensation being paid instead of a transfer fee, so perhaps that is why there is a stalemate at this present time. It was reported earlier this summer that McNeill had agreed to a move to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, reported by City Xtra on the Sports Illustrated website.

It is stated that the 16-year-old would like to leave the club as he was not getting many opportunities at U18 level, making nine appearances and scoring one goal and one assist for the club this season, before the coronavirus pandemic suspended then cancelled youth football. The player has already stated that he intends to leave City this summer, saying his goodbyes on social media, thanking the club for his past six years there. United seem to be making a big rebuild at U18 level this summer. On Instagram, McNeill said:

“A massive thank you to Manchester City for everything over the past six years.

“It’s been such a pleasure to play with some amazing players and I’ve made some amazing friends too.

“Thanks to all the staff and players for helping me develop as a player and also as a person. I wish everyone the very best.”

United have already confirmed three new signings in the clubs academy this season with Joe Hugill, Logan Pye and Radek Vitek announced as part of the U18 squad for the upcoming 2020/21 season. In addition to these three, Neil Ryan’s side look set to complete the signing of three other players who will be subject to international clearance. This will be the main delay with all three arriving at the club and being allowed to play. Last summer, United signed Hannibal Mejbri and he was cleared to play in mid-September.

Barcelona fullback Marc Jurado, 16 is likely to be the first of three other players to sign for United this summer. It was reported by The Sun that Jurado was ‘blown away’ by United’s project and will be happy to continue his development at the club, leaving La Masia. It would seem that United are intent on signing the best youth prospects in Europe this summer, therefore creating something for the future. Alvaro Fernandez Carreras, 17, will be leaving Real Madrid for United, according to The Sun. The player idolised Marcelo, so could well become a player for the future at the Old Trafford club.

Isak Hansen-Aaroen, 15, is the third player and The Sun reported that United completed the signing of the player last year, when he was 14. He will be leaving Tromso and became their youngest ever player at 15 years and 319 days when he made his debut earlier this month. It will be an exciting period for the player and for the future of United’s academy. It looks like United mean business at this level and if they can confirm all three of these players and add McNeill to the squad, there will definitely be some talent on show from the start of the new season.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United confirm new arrivals in academy; exciting future

Manchester United have confirmed some new additions into the academy ahead of the 2020/21 season. Back in May, the Old Trafford club were linked with 16-year-old Sunderland striker Joe Hugill with reports by the Daily Mail then suggesting a £250,000 deal between the clubs. Although the fee has not been confirmed, the teenager is now a United player, along with teammate Logan Pye, also 16. United have also brought in 16-year-old Czech goalkeeper Radek Vitek from Sigma Olomouc.

During the 2019/20 season, Hugill played for Sunderland at U18 and U23 level, with Transfermarkt stating he made seven appearances in total, scoring three goals. Pye, also playing for Sunderland, made nine appearances at U18 level, scoring no goals but making one assist. Vitek played for Sigma Olomouc U19, making 10 appearances, conceding 17 goals and keeping two clean sheets. Obviously, the trio will mainly be playing at U18 level and be added to the current squad at that level.

Current United player Shola Shoretire, 16 will be added to the U18 squad permanently after performing well during the current season, which was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. Shoretire made a total of 20 appearances for the club this season, scoring three goals and three assists. He is also the youngest player to play in the UEFA Youth League, appearing in the competition last season at the age of 14. United could have a good prospect in the teenager.

Omari Forson, 15 will also remain at United after being linked to Arsenal, which will be important for United considering the talent of the player. During the 2019/20 season, he made 14 appearances, coming off the bench 11 times, scoring one goal and one assist. He only arrived at the club from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2019, so it was good that United ended up keeping the player instead of his returning to London a year later. He could well be one of the shining lights in the academy.

United have also confirmed that defensive duo Rhys Bennett, 16 and Oliver Kilner, 16 will take up places in the U18 squad ahead of the new season with Polish goalkeeper Daniel Polakowski, 16 also rising up to the squad which is coached by Neil Ryan. Bennett has been at United since U9 level with Polakowski being at the club since he was nine. Kilner is a local boy, coming from Stockport. It will certainly be an interesting season ahead with some U18 players likely to make the move to the U23 squad.

This will allow the players to progress through the ranks, forming a continual conveyor belt at the club, with some players eventually making it into the first team and other players earning careers for themselves away from United. This is what happens in youth football – not every player makes it at United but they can learn a lot from being part of the coaching and education scheme of the club. United have always been known for their academy and that looks likely to continue.

Written by John Walker

U18s endure mixed start to the 2019/20 season, which can only get better…

Manchester United’s U19s started their season with players moving up into the U23s and others spending their first full season in this age group. There will be changes every year at this level with those who are nearing the age of 18 looking to take their chances in the U23s and continue their development, either at United or elsewhere.

U18 coach, Neil Ryan replaced Kieran McKenna at this level in the summer of 2018 after the latter became a coach under Jose Mourinho in the first team. Ryan’s first season in charge of the U18s saw his Sid finish fourth in the U18 Premier League – eight points adrift of eventual winners, Derby County.

The season started on Saturday 10 August 2019 with United beating Sunderland 3-0 at the Aon Training Complex in Carrington. In that match, Charlie McCann scored from the penalty spot, Anthony Elanga doubles United’s lead with Charlie Wellens scoring the third goal in the victory. United were seeking to continue that run.

The second match of the season was played a week later on Saturday 17 August away to Wolverhampton Wanderers. It was United’s first defeat of the season at this level, losing 2-0. In the third match of the season, United were once again at home with Blackburn Rovers heading to the Aon Training Complex.

United won this match 3-1 with Anthony Elanga scoring a brace and Dillon Hoogewerf scoring his first goal for his new club. A late consolation from Blackburn meant United were not able to keep a clean sheet in the match. Liverpool away was up next for United, which like every previous season would be a fierce match because of the rivalry.

United lost 4-3 against Liverpool in a match which saw United equalise minutes after Liverpool scored with Ayodeji Sotona levelling the first time, and Wellens scoring the second and third equalising goal. The match was lost in the final minute with an own goal, which was a shame for United. United will face Derby County away on Saturday (14/9).

With four matches played and six points on the board, United will be seeking to a return to winning ways against the U18 Premier League champions on Saturday, which might show that this age group already have the mentality to succeed at this level. It will be a tough match and probably a tough season with United aiming to do better than last.

The top scorer of the 2019/20 season so far is jointly held between Elanga and Wellens with both players scoring three goals each. Then with one goal each, Hoogewerf, McCann, and Sotona sit with their efforts. Ryan will be happy with the goals which have been scored, however, he will be seeking for more as United take on better opposition.

In terms of assists, both Elanga and Mark Helm have two each with Reece Devine, who was sent off against Liverpool, also having one. Ryan will need to look at the depth of his squad in order to overcome Derby this weekend with Devine missing from the squad due to suspension. United will be up for the fixture though, against the reigning champions.

Nine players in the squad have played in all of the four matches played so far this season, with just five of those playing each minute across the four matches. Ondrej Mastny, Ben Hockenhull, Reece Devine, Charlie McCann, and Mark Helm have played each minute of the four matches with Lukasz Bejger, Charlie Wellens, Connor Stanley, and Dillon Hoogewerf playing in each of the four matches played.

I am sure that Anthony Elanga, who has already featured twice for the U23s this season and Teden Mengi, who has also played twice at that level, will have Neil Wood, Quinton Fortune and Nicky Butt watching them if they continue to play U18 football this season. With Elanga scoring three times already this season, he’s clearly a player with the talent and ability to find a goal, or three.

It will be good to see these players grow with the team this season, one player in particular with pressure already being applied to his development will be Harvey Neville, the son of Phil Neville and nephew of Gary Neville. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing more of Hoogewerf, Elanga, and after their performances so far this season, Wellens and Helm. This will be an exciting season for the U18s.

U18 Player Ratings – 2018/19 Season: Mason Greenwood stole the show whilst the likes of Arnau Puigmal, Ethan Laird and James Garner excite

Manchester United U18s season ended in the last few weeks with the club finishing fourth in the U18 Premier League with 12 wins, seven draws and three defeats, scoring 60 goals in the competition alone, finishing just one point behind Everton, who finished third in the league. Granted, there will be a challenge for United in this league next season and they may have to do so without the likes of Mason Greenwood and James Garner, amongst others.

At this level, United also reached the semi-final stage of the U18 Premier League Cup, beating the Newcastle United (1-0), Norwich City (3-0), Chelsea (3-0), and Liverpool (3-2 AET) but falling to a 3-0 defeat against Manchester City. They also reached the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, beating Chelsea 4-3 in the third round but falling to a 3-1 defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion in the fourth round.

U18 coach Neil Ryan will be pleased with his squad this season as quite a few players stood out, around 10 of which will be too old for this level next season, already turning 18, so they should move up to the U23 squad for the upcoming season. That will leave Ryan with a young team, effectively starting again.

Here are the player ratings for the entire 2018/19 season for each player to have represented United at least once in any of the competitions the club has played in; U18 Premier League, U18 Premier League Cup, FA Youth Cup and the UEFA Youth League. All ratings are out of ten stars; five being the level all players start out at during each game. If the player rates over five stars, they are doing well, less than five, they are not doing so well.

Jacob Carney: The 18-year-old made seven appearances this season, conceding 14 goals, failing to keep a single clean sheet. After making his debut at this level in the first match this season, he spent a period of time with Bury on a youth loan. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Alex Fojticek: The 19-year-old Slovakian goalkeeper made just seven appearances for United at this level this season, conceding 11 goals and keeping two clean sheets. Now too old for this league, Fojticek will move up to the U23 level, where he made his debut in January 2019. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

James Thompson: The 18-year-old English goalkeeper played the most matches at this level, starting 15 times. However, he conceded 26 goals but kept the most clean sheets – five. Still eligible to play at this level next season, Thompson could be the first-choice goalkeeper, however, Neil Ryan may look to give a younger player a chance to shine. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ethan Laird: The right-back come left-back has made a total of 16 appearances at both U18 and U19 level this season, scoring twice and also assisting nine goals. The 17-year-old is still eligible to play at this level next season but also made his U23 debut last season so there could be scope for him to move up a level. Laird is quick, over short distances and as his stats show, he can get forward and provide for the attacking players. It will be good to see more of him in the future. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Brandon Williams: The 18-year-old right-back, although he can play on the left, will move up a level after this season. He made 28 appearances at U18 and U19 level, scoring four goals and assisting a further four, which is pretty good for a fullback. Williams made his U23 debut in February and will feature in that squad next season. Hopefully, he will continue to prove himself as United need additional fullbacks in the first team, so there is something for him to aim for in the future. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Iestyn Hughes: The 16-year-old right-back is one of the younger players at this level this season, making three appearances, two from the bench, got an assist against Derby County, a match which United won 2-1 – coming from behind. The Welsh starlet will most likely play at this level next season as he will turn 17 in September. He has a good future ahead of him and I look forward to seeing more from him. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Di’Shon Bernard: The 18-year-old central defender has played his last matches at this level this season, playing 25 times at both U18 and U19 level, scoring five goals. He was sent off against Liverpool at U18 level in February, making his U23 debut during the same month. The player his highly-rated at the club and will be looking to continue on the same path, maybe even catching the eye of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over the next few seasons. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ben Hockenhull: The 17-year-old central defender has been at United for the last eight years and was one of the younger players at this level during the past season. He made a total of six appearances, starting two of them, but did not score a single goal or add an assist. It is safe to say that this coming season will be more important for him and Neil Ryan, as many players will be moving up to the U23s. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oliver Denham: This was his debut season at this level and we did not really see much of him. He made one start and also another off the bench. At 17, this was his first experience at U18 level and the central defender will most likely have a bigger chance next season, probably starting more matches and well on the way to becoming an experienced member of this team. The future could be very bright for him and I am sure that everyone will be looking forward to seeing what he can do. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Teden Mengi: The versatile defender, who can also play in midfield, made 21 appearances at U18 level this season, failing to score a single goal but provided a total of four assists. This was the second season at this level for the 17-year-old and as he does not turn 18 until next April, he should be eligible to play at this level for another season but will be a player that an eye is kept on as he will need to move up to the U23s at some point. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reece Devine: The 17-year-old left back has made 17 appearances at U18 and U19 level this season, assisting one goal. The player has previously played for both Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers in his short career and will be looking to kick on at this club. Still able to play for the U18s next season, although there will be no U19 football, he could stake a claim to his place in the squad as many players will be leaving this group this summer, heading to the U23s. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lukasz Bejger: The Polish central defender made seven appearances at U18 and U19 level this season, assisting one goal. Signed from Lech Poznan (the club that Manchester City supporters got their goal celebration from) he received international clearance in September and promptly made his debut. He turned 17 in January so will have another season at this level, in which he will be looking to make a name for himself. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

James Garner: The 18-year-old central midfielder made 15 appearances at U18 and U19 level this season, also playing at U23 and first team level, which is something he will want more of. Garner scored twice, once for the U18s and once for the U19s, assisting two goals at this level also. This season will have been a big one for him, playing for United during the pre-season tour and showing so much ability, also impressing both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Aliou Traore: The 18-year-old French midfielder has probably played his last football for the U18s this season, although he could still be eligible next season. He made a total of 30 appearances at U18 and U19 level this season, scoring four goals and assisting a further nine. The player has previously played for Paris Saint-Germain and Sarcelles. The player is a talent at the club, in his second season, and has already played U23 football, so he has a good future ahead of him. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Dylan Levitt: The Welsh central midfielder has played a lot of football at this level over the last two seasons. This season, he has played 25 times at U18 and U19 level, scoring seven goals and a further eight assists. He also made his U23 debut this season, scoring his first goal for the team in February. He clearly has a lot to offer this club and will most likely move up to the U23s this coming season, continuing his rise to stardom. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Dion McGhee: The 18-year-old attacking midfielder completed his third season at this level, making 22 appearances at U18 and U19 level, scoring four goals. The player only scored his first goal for the club this season and also made his U23 debut in January. His time at U18 level is probably over now and he could see himself being challenged to earn a place in the U23s squad. As an attacking midfielder, he can be the playmaker ins the team and also has the ability to find space behind the opposition defenders. Dion McGhee is a name you will hear more from next season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

D’Mani Bughail-Mellor: The 18-year-old will be 19 just after the new seasons starts his time at this level is now over. He’s made a total of 20 appearances at U18 and U19 level this season, scoring five goals and two assists. He made his U23 debut this season, scoring his first goal in February. He can play in a number of positions in the attacking midfielder role, whether through the middle of wide, also behind the striker or even as the striker. He could be a name we hear more of next season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ethan Galbraith: The 18-year-old midfielder from Northern Ireland made a total of 24 appearances at U18 level this season, scoring four goals and a further four assists. He also made his debut at U23 level in February, presumably getting him ready for the jump up to that level next season. He could well be a player for the future and is highly-rated at the club. This next season, playing at U23 level, could decide his future. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Arnau Puigmal: The 18-year-old Spaniard has made a total of 24 appearances for the U18s and U19s this season, starting at right-back, scoring two goals and six assists. Over the past week the central midfielder has been training with the first team, which could suggest his future could be something special. He’s yet to make his U23s debut but could still feature at this level for a period next season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Charlie McCann: The 17-year-old signed from Coventry City in the summer and made his debut for the U18s this season, making 23 appearances and scoring five goals and a further three assists. McCann is a ball playing central midfielder who can also cover at fullback, which is good for the future at this level. There is certainly more to come from him at this level next season and he will be looking to make his U23 debut during his second season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Harvey Neville: The son of United Class of 92 graduate Phil Neville joined United from Valencia last summer. He has played a total of seven times in the U18s and U19s this season and is yet to score or assist a goal for his new club. He has previously played for Manchester City. Neville is a winger who can also play a central role. Many will be hoping for more from the 16-year-old next season although he turns 17 in just over a month. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mark Helm: The 17-year-old made a total of eight appearances at U18 and U19 level this season, scoring a single goal. The central midfielder will be looking to play more football next season at this level. He made his debut and scored his first goal in the same game. With many players moving up to the U23s next season, perhaps it will give the player the chance to make a name for himself at this level. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Max Haygarth: The 17-year-old central midfielder made one substitute appearance for the U18s this season after joining the squad in July 2018. He has had a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury which saw him only able to make his debut in February. Next season will be a big one for him, still able to play at this level and aiming to show his ability at this level in order to move up to the U23s, if it all works out for him. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Connor Stanley: The young winger made ten appearances at U18 level this season, six of those being from the bench. The 17-year-old was previously at Birmingham City but moved to United last summer. He is yet to score a goal or lay on an assist but in his debut season, it was a lot to ask for, especially when you take into account that he’s made few appearances. Next season could be his time. He also made his debut for the U23s in February, coming off the bench. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ayodeji Sotona: The young winger, known for his speed and trickery made just one substitute appearance at U18 level this season and is still yet to score a goal and provide an assist. The player is eligible to represent both Ireland and Nigeria, although he has played for Ireland at U16 level already. There is certainly more to come from this lad and he could be one to watch out for next season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Largie Ramazani: The 18-year-old Belgian winger played a total of 22 times at U18 and U19 level this season, scoring just once with seven assists. He made his U23 debut in January, also scoring his first goal at that level in March. He will not represent United at this level next season and will be seeking to impress those at the higher level, possibly seeking to break into the first team under Solskjaer, maybe not next season though – who knows. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Shola Shoretire: One of the youngest player to make an appearance at this level this season at 15-years-old. Shola Shoretire is an attacking midfielder/forward who seems to prefer playing through the middle but can perform in the wide positions. He only made his debut at this level in March, coming off the bench. There is so much more to come from this young lad. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Anthony Elanga: The young Swedish international made a total of 23 appearances at U18 and U23 level this season, scoring a total of four goals and five assists, all within the U18 level. The player can play as a winger or an attacking midfielder and has shown his ability. At 17, he could still feature at this level next season but made his U23 debut earlier this year, so could be an option for Ricky Sbragia’s side also, which will be great to see. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mipo Odubeko: The schoolboy made two appearances at U18 level this season, scoring one goal. He obviously has a big future ahead of him. His rise into the youth ranks from schoolboy level will be watched by many as the player seems to have the ability which will help propel him in the game. Looking forward to seeing more from him next season. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mason Greenwood: The 17-year-old made only 18 appearances in all competitions at this level this season but scored 22 goals, adding a further nine assists to his tally. Greenwood also played in the UEFA Youth League (U19s) this season, making five appearances, scoring five goals and one assist, which shows his talent in this team. Although he will still be eligible to play at this level next season, a place in the first team or at least the U23s will be more likely. I would personally like to see his sent straight to the first team. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It may not have been a celebratory season for this age group but they have achieved a lot. Many will move upwards to the U23 level and will be looking to forge their careers at the club for the long-term. There will be some who make it but others that will not. There are also players in this group who are just starting out at a professional level and will be raring to go ahead of the new season, after a long summer break, of course. Here’s to another season of exciting youth football.

copyright: JW