Youth players in Manchester United’s Pre Season 21/22
July 28th, 2021 | Football
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A throwback kind of player. Joe Hugill is an out and out centre-forward who has one thought “goals”. He likes to stay in and around the box and looks to find space between defenders where he can get service. He’s a good natural finisher, has good movement and is composed in front of goal.
A real talent. Signed from Penarol last summer, Facundo Pellistri looks like an exciting talent. He’s an old-fashioned winger who likes to take a full-back on and beat them with skill. Pellistri is also a right footed player who primarily operates on the right, this is again a bit of a throwback as most wingers nowadays are inverted wingers, looking to cut in onto their stronger foot. He’s confident with the ball and a desire to take responsibility and make something happen, which is impressive for such a young player. He can come short or run in behind which will keep his opponenets second guessing themselves. It’ll be interesting to see how this season goes, most likely on loan. I’d just like to see him get consistent game time in men’s football.
What a tidy player. Shola Shoretire is one of the youngest involved in Manchester United’s pre-season, but he’s been a standout player so far. He’s composed in possession, rides the tackles when he can and likes to link-up play in the front four areas. He can play left-wing, right-wing, attacking midfield and even as a centre-forward. Shoretire operates in central pockets of space around the edge of the box. Regardless of which position he starts in, he will find these pockets of space and cause damage. He’s a decent finisher, but his main strengths are his vision, decision making and desire to create something. He reminds me a lot of new Manchester United recruit Jadon Sancho with his dribbling, composure and, like I said about Pellistri, wanting to take responsibility and make something happen. He looks to have bulked up over the summer which will help him adapt to senior football and I look forward to seeing his progress this season.
I’m a huge fan of Anthony Elanga. The Sweden U21 international is a really exciting and has the current ability and potential to be a Manchester United senior player. His game is very similar to that of Marcus Rashford. Elanga is a forward, a right-footed player who primarily plays on the left-hand side cutting in onto his stronger foot to cause the opposition’s backline problems. Although he’s, in my view, stronger on the left-wing, he can operate comfortably on either flank or could even do a job down the middle. Elanga possess great pace and you’d struggle to find many quicker than him. He’s got an eye for a goal and desire to take on a defender and sit them down. an exciting talent for both Manchester United and Sweden and one who I think is ready for the senior stage for both mentioned teams.
One of the more well-known talents involved in this pre-season for Manchester United. Hannibal Mejbri is an interesting player. Him and James Garner are probably the two with the most potential out of this current crop of youth players. His style of play could be compared to that of Paul Pogba’s. He’s demands the ball, uses it well and has great vision. He’s most effective in the final-third playing in attacking midfield or out wide and linking up play. He can pass from anywhere on the pitch. He can play it short, long can cross or play through the lines. Mejbri is also a decent finisher and can be deadly from long-range. He uses his body well to buy fouls or get away from his marker and has improved on not going down easily, something he did too much for my liking in his first season. Mejbri possess a great work ethic, which is necessary if you want to be a Manchester United player. He’s a fiery character and has sometimes let that get the better of him, getting sent off on occasion. But he’s a terrific talent who’s already represented Tunisia, the country his parents originate from, at senior level, with three caps for his name. If he stays on the right path, he’s got a really bright future in football.
A tough season all round for Dylan Levitt last season. He struggled to establish himself at Charlton Athletic, making only five appearances in the first half of the season before a loan to Croatian club NK Istra 1961 for the second. Levitt ended it well by making Wales’s 26-man squad for the EUROs and featured off the bench on one occasion, against Italy in a 1-0 groups stage defeat. He’s a talented young central midfielder who likes to come deep for the ball before distributing it with his long passing ability. He’s composed on the ball and has showcased leadership skills as youth level for United. A solid young midfielder who will benefit from a possible loan and consistent game time to further progress and become a regular at international level and add to his nine caps for Wales, something I believe he has the ability to do.
What a talent. The youth player I’m most excited about out of this group. In my opinion, James Garner could play for Manchester United’s senior team now, especially being a defensive midfielder with a good tempo of passing, which is something Manchester United haven’t had for a while. And, again in my opinion, if given regular game time could become an England international in the next three or four seasons. His main position is defensive-midfield where he can get the ball off the back-four and progress it forwards using his impressive passing range. He reads the game well, works hard, possess great stamina and looks more assured since his loan spells to Watford and Nottingham Forrest last season and has all the attributes needed to be a top defensive midfielder. He’s a threat from distance and can pass a ball from anywhere on the pitch. He can cross or pass from any angle and is comfortable receiving the ball in tight areas. He could operate as a makeshift centre-back or box-to-box midfielder, which just shows his all-round attributes. He’s got good leadership skills having captained both Manchester United and England at youth level. A really good young talent who I believe is ready for the Manchester United first team.
A talented young midfielder. Ethan Galbraith has the lot. Composure, passing ability, work ethic and a good shot from long-range. Galbraith mainly operates in defensive areas. He reads the game well, is a good tackler and distributes the ball well from deep. His defensive ability is highlighted by the fact he can play not only defensive midfield but centre-back and right-back. And at 5ft 7, which is Galbraith’s height, you have to be a good reader of the game to play that role. He’s a good dribbler and is calm in possession, an Andrea Pirlo kind of player, a playmaker from deep. He’s featured for the senior team of both Manchester United and his country Northern Ireland and has a good future in the game. I hope he finds a good loan, likely at a Championship club, which is level I think will help develop him as a player both physically and mentally. It would be a great test of his calmness and composure and will allow Manchester United to see if he can perform on the senior stage, although it will probably take one or two loan spells before he’s completely comfortable.
If someone asked you to find a young Harry Maguire, you’d struggle to find someone more similar than Will Fish. The 18-year-old centre-back is dominant in the air, steps into midfield well, executes long passes well and accurately, and is an all-round good defender. Positionally he likes to stay in front of his opponent and wait to challenge until the moment is right. He’s a good young centre-back, has captained Manchester United at youth level and will benefit from training with the likes of Harry Maguire. I look forward to seeing his progression this season and hope his loan spell with Stockport County goes well.
A good young defender capable of playing centre-back and right-back. Di’Shon Bernard is a talented young centre-back. He likes to pass into midfield, is comfortable in possession and is dominant in both boxes. He stays tight on his opponents and follows them if they drift out of position, before winning the ball back and calmly distributing it. He’s already featured for Manchester United at senior level once and impressed on loan at Salford City last season. I rate him and hope to see him continue his progress this season, hopefully getting plenty of game time and joining a good club on loan.
I regard this lad very highly. Teden Mengi is a real prospect. The nineteen-year-old centre-back has featured for the senior team on one occasion, coming off the bench against LASK in the Europa League towards the end of the 19/20 season. He’s quick, good on the ball, carries the ball out of defence and into midfield consistently and, like Di’Shon, is dominant in both boxes. He’s composed, has a good, strong physique, and possess a good passing range. Mengi is a centre-back by trade but can also operate at both left-back and right-back. He’s a leader and has captained Manchester United at youth level and is visibaly vocal. A loan spell at Derby County was ended by injury in the second half of last season, but Mengi seems ready to go back to the Championship and prove he can replicate his form at youth level on the senior stage. A real talent who I can see having a great future for both Manchester United and England.
Please note: The football articles that feature on this site are being written by Jack Dixon as part of his work experience. He is a teenager and looking for work experience within the football industry. He is currently studying for his media and art A-levels