One thing that has been ingrained in the history of Manchester United, is the club’s passion to bleed young players through the academy and into the first team. From the Class of ’92 in Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, the Neville brothers, and Nicky Butt to Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams, and more. Here are the top 5 young reds to look out for in the future, hopefully following the same pattern of success as those mentioned above!
With so much talent currently in the Under 23’s and the Under 18’s, it’s been extremely difficult to narrow it down to only 5. But here is my list. Starting from 5 down to 1. Enjoy!
5. Teden Mengi – Centre Back
The 18-year-old powerful centre half is widely appreciated across the club and the fans and is touted as a star of the future. The current u23’s captain is commanding in the air, strong in a tackle, good with his feet, and an ability to carry the ball out of the back, Mengi is the epitome of the modern day centre half. Mengi has featured once already for the first team, making a substitute appearance in the Europa League v LASK. Mengi secured a loan deal to Wayne Rooney’s Derby County in January and played 9 games for the club. Unfortunately, he picked up a hamstring injury earlier this month that has ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Another loan move is likely next season as he makes the next step to a promising career.
4. Ethan Galbraith – Centre Midfielder
Having impressed in trials having being spotted playing for Linfield u16’s by the United scouts, the rise of Galbraith has been very much a rapid one. He was part of the u18’s side that won the Premier League under 18 title in 2018, he is now a key member of the u23’s side at the age of 19, and has recently signed a new professional contract at the club lasting 3 years. Galbraith has also managed to break through into the Northern Ireland midfield, picking up 2 caps already. His ability to pick a pass is regarded as his best feature. Galbraith has already featured for the first team, coming on as an 88th-minute substitute against Astana in the Europa League. Galbraith has been training regularly in and around the first team this season, and it remains to be seen whether or not he will be loaned out or become a squad player next season.
3. Hannibal Mejbri – Central Midfielder
Having joined in July of 2020 for a fee reported close to £9 million, all eyes have been on Hannibal from the get-go. And he has not disappointed. A central attacking midfielder who is great with his feet, can unlock defences with his passing, and has an eye for goal, Hannibal has what it takes to go to the very top. Having recently signed a new long-term deal until 2026, the club can see that he is a talented boy. He has been promoted to the first team training circle but is yet to appear in the squad. However, I firmly believe he will be involved in first-team action come the start of the 21/22 season. Also, how cool would it be to be called Hannibal? Love it!
2. Joe Hugill – Striker
Nicknamed the Sunderland Shearer, Joe Hugill gets goals! in 5 appearances for the u18’s, he scored 6 goals. Bearing in mind he is only 17 years old, he has netted 10 times in 18 games for the u23’s and is a serious threat in front of goal. His 6ft 2″ frame helps him hold off some of the strongest centre halves in the division, allowing him to be as big a threat in the air than just on the ground. His silky movement and his wand of a left foot get you excited to watch him every time he steps on a pitch. With a bit more work on the physical side of his game, I can see Hugill making the step up to the first team in a similar way Mason Greenwood did. Top prospect.
Charlie Mcneill – Striker
Now, I don’t want to get too excited, BUT, this kid is what’s known today as a “Bagsman”. Every time the u18’s have a game, 90% of the time when I receive the goal notification on Twitter, It’s this lad that has scored. Having signed from local rivals Manchester City, with a rumour that he had scored over 600 goals at youth level for the club, Mcneill has hit the ground running for United 18’s with 15 goals in 14 starts. What makes this young man even better is that he has always been a massive Manchester United fan, and moving from the blue side to the great side of Manchester was a no-brainer for him! He even scored 4 goals vs City 18’s and celebrated with the famous “Take the L” dance from the popular kids game Fortnite. And it’s with that arrogance, mixed with pure talent that makes him my number one on this list.
To view the 4 goals Mcneill scored against Manchester City click here.
So there we have it, here are my 5 top young reds to look out for in the future! Please feel free to add more to the list!
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