Manchester United have rightfully being praised for implementing key youngsters such as Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood into their team, with both mentioned players being a real success this season. Both Greenwood and Brandon Williams have recently blossomed on the big stage and with United traditionally being the club that does justice to its up and coming youth prospects, its exciting to see breakout stars becoming the talk of the town.
Following Mason Greenwoods rise to prominence and breakout season thus far, I thought I would take a look at some of the Manchester United’s youth players who can replicate Mason Greenwood’s success and make a case for themselves in the Manchester United squad, in the upcoming games and in the following campaigns.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had admitted earlier into the season that ‘one or two’ young players could be promoted from the academy next season so which of these prospective breakout stars could we seeing more of in United colours soon?
Axel Tuanzebe is an exciting centre-back prospect who has impressed at times when he has been played this season. Previously having an overall successful season out on loan at Aston Villa in the 2018/19 campaign, this season Tuanzebe had got himself into the running for the coveted centre-back position before succumbing to injuries.
Having made 10 appearances throughout this season in all competitions, Axel Tuanzebe is rated very highly internally at Manchester United, with comparisons been made between himself, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. High praises indeed and a promising future in the club that needs to be realised.
For quite some time now, Tahith Chong has been labelled as the next big thing. The 20 year old Dutch Winger has a very promising career ahead of him, and after signing a new contact until 2022 it is clear he has the potential to make it at Manchester United, as fellow forward Marcus Greenwood is currently doing and as academy graduate Marcus Rashford has done.
Despite making 11 appearances this season and not particularly standing out when played, the potential is there. You have to feel there is an inexperience factor with Chong. In the Manchester United first team he has only ever made 15 appearances.
Chong needs game-time to grow and prosper as a player but has the potential to be one of the next breakout stars for Manchester United soon. This can happen through a loan deal to a Championship side, Premier League side, or somewhere where he can consistently ply his trade and improve as a player.
James Garner is another exciting youth player touted for success. Originating from the Manchester United youth academy having been a part of the youth setup since 2009, Garner made his professional debut last season, coming on as a sub in a Premier League away match against Crystal Palace.
The bulk of Garner’s game time at Manchester United has understandably come in the UEFA Europa League. A loan would be in order for next season, seeing Garner play regularly would be a good move for both parties.
Given time to properly grow as a player, James Garner could cement himself as a staple piece in the Manchester United midfield in the seasons to come.
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Ethan Laird is an 18-year-old English defender who has emerged from the Youth academy and thrust himself into the limelight. Laird made his first team and professional debut starting in a rotated Manchester United side, in the Europa League back in November of 2019. Manchester United were thoroughly beaten on that occasion but Laird did play the full 90 minutes.
Since then Laird has only made one appearance, but both he and Manchester United will be hoping he can emulate fellow defender Brandon Williams who has been a sensation and a breath of fresh air this season.
All in all, Manchester United have a great set of youth prospects coming through and there where some who I did not mention such as Di’Shon Bernard, Dylan Levitt, D’Mani Mellor and Teden Mengi among others.
Time will only tell if the current crop make it, but Manchester United fans should be pleasantly looking forward to how the talented current crop develop over time and what the future can hold as these young graduates gradually cement their position in the club.
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