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The Class of ’21? EIGHT Man United youth players training with the first-team

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With Manchester United’s first-team stars currently playing internationals, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given eight academy prospects the chance to shine. 

United have a great principle of giving young talent a chance and Solskjaer has been maintaining the tradition since he took charge, making room for Mason Greenwood in his team as well keeping Anthony Elanga, Teden Mengi and Hannibal Mejbri closeby. 

Charlie Savage (centre) is making a strong impression at United

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Charlie Savage (centre) is making a strong impression at United

While the majority of the Red Devils are absent, United’s Aon training Complex is the new home for the young hopefuls to train with the remaining first-teamers.

Let’s take a look at the latest Manchester United prodigies who might make their first-team debuts soon.

CHARLIE SAVAGE

Son of former United youth player and Wales international Robbie Savage, Charlie is quickly climbing up the academy ranks, going from Under 18 to Under 23. 

A central midfielder like his father, the 18-year old is comfortable both defending and going forward and has also established himself as a technical, ball playing midfielder rather than a tenacious player like Robbie was.

Savage Jr has revealed he is liking life at Old Trafford. He said: “I’m really enjoying playing for United, we’ve got a great bunch of lads there.”

Savage (left) challenges Nemanja Matic during training

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Savage (left) challenges Nemanja Matic during training

ALVARO FERNANDEZ 

Coming over from Real Madrid’s academy, the Red Devils welcomed Alvaro Fernandez into the under-18 side.

Playing at left-back, Fernandez made 30 appearances across different levels of United’s youth step last season and progressed to play 20 of those games for Neil Wood’s U23s side in the Premier League 2, despite only turning 18 in March.

Taking inspiration from Real Madrid star Marcelo, Fernandez has already got five assists under his belt. 

Fernandes joined United from Real Madrid’s academy

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Fernandes joined United from Real Madrid’s academy

CHARLIE MCNEILL

Charlie Mcneill is no stranger to Manchester United as he has been a boyhood fan since day one, although the 18-year old has scored remarkable 600 youth goals for rivals Manchester City.

Upon returning back to United’s youth academy, Mcneill has netted in 24 goals in 21 games in the under-18s Premier League last season – what a comeback. 

McNeill (left) has been a lifelong United fan

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McNeill (left) has been a lifelong United fan

JOE HUGILL

Beating Arsenal and Tottenham in the race to sign Joe Hugill, United secured a £300,000 deal from Sunderland for the centre-forward. 

Hugill didn’t stay in the under-18s for long as he was fast-tracked into the under-23s scoring 10 goals in 18 games, including four in the outstanding 6-3 win over Liverpool. 

Standing at 6ft 2in tall, the 17-year old is able to dominate defenders while enabling his controlled touch. 

United beat Arsenal and Spurs in the race to sign Hugill (right)

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United beat Arsenal and Spurs in the race to sign Hugill (right)

DILLON HOOGEWERF

18-year old Dillon Hoogewerf signed from the Ajax academy in 2019, registering 12 goals and 11 assists for the Red Devils’ under-18s last season before joining hands with the under-23 side. 

Originally a centre forward, Hoogewerf has transferred into a wide forward role as he is effective on both wings. 

Hoogewerf joined United from Ajax’s highly-rated academy

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Hoogewerf joined United from Ajax’s highly-rated academy

MARC JURADO

Hailing from Barcelona’s academy, Marc Jurado turned down the offer of a three-year contract from his boyhood club for Manchester United.

The 17-year old arrived at Old Trafford with the record for the fastest goal ever recorded at youth level from an under 10s game against Viladecans.

The right-back made his under-23s debut towards the end of last season with the Red Devils.

Jurado challenges Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the ball

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Jurado challenges Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the ball

CHARLIE WELLENS

Like his father, Doncaster manager Richie Wellens, Charlie is a central midfielder and has become a key player in United’s youth team.

Sparking interest from Inter Milan, Wellens has thrived in the full-back position, scoring three goals for the under-18s last season and stepping up to the under-23 side with three assists in the opening seven games this term. 

Wellens (left) is the son of former Donny boss Richie

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Wellens (left) is the son of former Donny boss Richie

BJORN HARDLEY

Manchester United was quick to snap up Bjorn Hardley from NAC Breda’s academy impressing the club scouts. 

The Dutch youngster has been operating at the back efficiently and has also been dipping  into the defensive midfield position throughout his 17 appearances for the under-18s team last term. 

The 18-year old has played every minute of the under-23 team’s Premier League 2 campaign so far this season, scoring recently against Liverpool in a 3-0 which left boss Neil Ryan gushing with praise.

Ryan said: “I thought Bjorn Hardley was outstanding. His movement at the back. He’s a real leader.”

Hardley (left) watches Juan Mata closley

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Hardley (left) watches Juan Mata closley




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