With Nemaja Vidic injured until Christmas and Phil Jones currently regaining his strength after suffering a 8 weeks absence thanks to a injured right leg, Sir Alex has been given little choice but to switch towards his young guns.
Amazingly Sir Alex Ferguson has produced great young talent throughout the years via United’s highly rated youth system and strives to promote those young guns to United’s first team where they experience their life’s ambition.
Manchester United improved their attacking options last summer by capturing the gifted Robin Van Persie and the talented Shinji Kagawa, this could make breaking into the first team complicated for the young guns. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has 6 goals to his name ahead of arguably United’s best player Wayne Rooney who has 3. Danny Welbeck has only 1 goal but they’re all behind Robin Van Persie who has stunned most fans this year by scoring 11 goals in just 14 games.
The Red Devils have conceded 14 goals in 10 Premier League games whilst fielding 6 different defenders plus Michael Carrick at centre back for a third consecutive season. Michael Keane and Scott Wootton have both made their first team appearances for Manchester United this term and and both also impressed. Having sparkled against Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge and Papis Cisse who are undoubtedly top Premier League forwards, surely they provided Sir Alex enough encouragement to include them in his first team plans when injuries limit his defensive options?
In my opinion the performances of those two players in the Capital One Cup and Under 21 League indicate that the answer for Manchester United’s defensive issues could be fixed.
Manchester United have a philosophy of blooding young players which their reputation as a club is particularly established for. With Manchester United having top quality players in their squad the reserves can be forgiven for feeling frustrated with their limited opportunities but they must strive to impress if they are to achieve their dreams of entering the history of the worlds biggest club – Manchester United. The showing against Newcastle and Chelsea in the Capital One Cup proved how talented the depth in United’s squad is.
I think Michael Keane and Scott Wootton are ready to reach the highest standards which is great timing considering Rio Ferdinand is reaching his retirement and Nemaja Vidic possibly entering the latter stages of his United career thanks to injuries. United have covered Patrice Evra with Alexander Buttner who looks fast and determined plus a real threat whenever he receives the ball.
Another defender, Sean McGinty, will also be looking to impress and hope reports back to the boss are favourable after his move North to Carlisle on loan.
United’s attacking force is possibly the strongest it’s been since 1999 and the strongest in the Premier League this season. United’s options include Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Luis Nani, Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and of course the in-form Javier Hernandez so chances for game time for United’s attacking reserves like Striker Joshua King, who has represented his country Norway, and Summer signing Nick Powell who is incredibly talented at just 18yrs old, are almost none existent at present.
Will Keane is closing in on returning to action after an unfortunate lengthy injury undid all his hard work in pre-season. I think Will was heading for a few chances this season, hopefully he’ll return as just as potent as he was before the lay-off.
One player who could capitalise on a lack of quality ahead of him in his position is Ryan Tunnicliffe. He’s received his first team debut recently and could now begin to feature if he displays good performances in the U21’s.
Many of United’s reserve squad have attracted strong levels of interest from clubs (in both the top flight and the Championship) who are keen to snare the talented youngsters on loan. Manchester United’s hidden squad is stacked so full of quality that most of the talented reserves who train extremely hard everyday to achieve their first first team call-up, can only be captured on loan spells.
The highly rated and promising young Midfielder-come-Foward Jesse Lingard and the ever improving defender Michael Keane recently headed out on loan spells to Championship big spenders Leicester City and defender Luke Giverin has joined on loan with United’s feeder club, Royal Antwerp earlier this season with the aim to improve individually.
Republic Of Ireland starlet Robbie Brady, a reserve midfielder who was hoping for a chance to show his ability this season, has recently settled for a return to action with Championship side Hull City on a season-long loan agreement. Brady re-joins goalkeeper Ben Amos who also joined Hull City on loan earlier in the season.
With all these youngsters gaining first team experience, it wont be long before the majority of them make their Premier League debuts; whether that’s for United or someone else remains to be seen, but you can almost guarantee you haven’t heard the last of them.
One thing that puzzles me though. Why hasn’t Davide Petrucci had a chance yet?
My name is Matt and I’m just 17. I like writing about what I love – Man Utd!
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