There are seven young players for Man United that could make the first squad as the upcoming Premier League season approaches.
While on preseason duty with Manchester United, Erik ten Hag primarily utilized the club’s experienced professionals, but the young players were nevertheless given opportunities while on tour in Thailand and Australia. A few drew Ten Hag’s attention since they were so eager to impress.
Ten Hag will have worked with the team for six weeks when United welcomes Brighton to Old Trafford on the first day of the season because United started their preseason on June 27.
According to reports, the United players have reacted favorably to Ten Hag throughout that time and have benefited immensely from his planned and entertaining training sessions.
Ten Hag is hands-on during practice, and his tactical contribution is certain to benefit the club’s players. Ten Hag also promises to bring out the best in the youthful talent surrounding the group because, during his time at Ajax, he wasn’t afraid to put his trust in such individuals.
The Busby Babes and the Class of ’92 were both created by United, and few clubs can match the Reds’ impressive track record in the academy. Despite the first-team standards at Old Trafford deteriorating over the past ten years, United’s youth program continues to be of the highest caliber.
Ten Hag recognizes the value of fostering the growth of the team’s young players, which is why about a third of United’s 31-man traveling squad for their tour of Thailand and Australia consisted of players who were 21 or younger.
This year’s Qatar World Cup will take place in the winter, and United will unavoidably need to employ the squad’s fringe players if they are to compete meaningfully in the Premier League, Carabao Cup, and FA Cup.
The club’s young players will be hoping they can participate in the squad rotation as it is going to be a demanding season. Others are about to permanently break into the squad, while some are slated to leave on loan before the transfer window closes.
Laird was always likely to be loaned out rather than staying at United, according to the analysis of those candidates. Dalot and Wan-Bissaka are ahead of the right-back, which explains why he is anticipated to join Watford soon.
In other situations, midfielders Hannibal, Zidane Iqbal, and Charlie Savage have all made appearances throughout preseason, but Iqbal and Savage, who both made their first team debuts in December, appeared to have most impressed Ten Hag with their performances.
In actuality, Iqbal was destined to garner interest in the academy. Iqbal’s name is pronounced similarly to that of the legendary Zinedine Zidane, which piques attention. Iqbal also occupies the same position as Zizou, who once played it wonderfully. During United’s tour of Thailand and Australia, the midfielder was the only player under the age of 21 to participate in each of the team’s four games. Ten Hag praised the midfielder for this accomplishment.
Iqbal, who participated in soccer for Sale United before enrolling in the United program at the age of nine, appears to be maturing into a man. He now appears to be physically prepared for the senior game, and he possesses some talent. Iqbal flies past opponents and displays brilliance in possession.
Savage and Iqbal made their first-team debuts together against BSC Young Boys in the Champions League, and they also played together on tour. Savage, who is Robbie Savage’s son, is very different from his father on the field.
Savage’s work rate on cold Friday nights at Leigh Sports Village is guaranteed to be relentless and he doesn’t get the praise he deserves. Savage is an excellent passer of the ball and he’s demonstrated his vision in pre-season matches this summer.
After an impressive season in the Championship, Garner seemed the most likely to make his mark in pre-season, but he sustained a knock and that limited him to just 23 minutes on tour. Ten Hag has admitted he needs to see more of Garner before making a decision on his future and there’s a feeling that he’ll leave on loan again, with Premier League clubs interested in a temporary deal.
Garner appeared to be the most likely to make an impact in preseason after a strong season in the Championship, but he was only able to play for 23 minutes on tour due to an injury. Garner is expected to leave on loan once more because Premier League clubs are interested on a short-term contract, as Ten Hag has acknowledged he needs to see more of him before making a decision about his future.
Another young player at the club on the verge of making the first squad is Hannibal. Last season, Hannibal routinely participated in first-team practices, and Gary Neville and Bryan Robson appreciated his brief appearance against Liverpool at Anfield in April.
The fact that Hannibal displayed more zeal in only 10 minutes than other players did throughout the entire game was an indication of the issues in the locker room. Despite Hannibal’s immense potential and great devotion, his first loan might be calling.
Amad, Pellistri, and Alejandro Garnacho, three of United’s youthful attacking prospects, traveled with the team on its preseason tour of Thailand and Australia, but the latter would have been upset to not play a single minute.
Although Garnacho, 18, is still a raw prospect at such a critical period of his development, his precociousness means he is now a level ahead of players his age, as was seen in the FA Youth Cup last season, a competition in which he thrived.
Although the Spaniard earned his first-team debut against Chelsea in April and was a talisman for United’s U18 team, it would be wise to remain patient with his development. A season with United’s U23s would undoubtedly be beneficial for Garnacho.
The player’s obvious next move seems to be that, whilst Amad and Pellistri, who both play on the right wing, have little direction this summer, Garnacho could occasionally play for the first team in cup tournaments.
When Amad joined from Atalanta for an initial cost of €21 million in January 2021, there were big expectations for him. Before heading to Old Trafford, Amad had only accumulated 122 first-team minutes for Atalanta, and the announcement of the transaction sparked questions.
The forward, who was acquired for the second-highest sum of money by United, quickly demonstrated why the club’s scouting division had had such high regard for him. Amad opened the scoring for United with a skillfully executed header against AC Milan in the Europa League two months after scoring a hat-trick on his U23s debut against Liverpool.
Amad has had difficulty since then, though, and he spent six months on loan at Rangers last year. Amad’s time in Scotland was lackluster, and like Pellistri, who last season played for Deportivo Alaves, he is anticipated to leave the club on loan once more.
Pellistri paid £9 million to join United in October 2020, but he hasn’t played for the team’s first team yet. Last season, Pellistri played just 750 minutes for Deportivo, and United even thought about terminating his loan early. For the current campaign, Pellistri is rumored to receive loan offers from Portugal, England, and Italy.