The Carling Cup has again given rise to United's rising stars again this season.
Assistant boss Mike Phelan and first-team coach Rene Meulensteen run the rule over the young men who helped get the Reds to Sunday's final and could play a part in winning it...
Age: 21, Midfield, Irish
The story so far MP Gibbo has been with us a while and floated in and out of the squad. But this season he’s made an adjustment in mental and physical terms and seems at home within the first-team group.
Distinguishing features RM He has similar attributes to Michael Carrick – he’s a good passer – both simple and penetrative – and makes good runs into the box. He’s a big, strong lad – and an Irish international now.
The future MP His first goal [against Southampton] will have done him the world of good. All the hard work you’ve put in and all your dreams and aspirations together in that one instant. Once you’ve done it, you want to do it again and you can see that desire in Darron.
Age: 18, Striker, English
The story so far MP Danny has come right through the ranks here.
Distinguishing features MP He’s really improved on the skills side and technically and tactically he’s much better. He’s also filled out a bit more. His goal against Stoke was a great strike, but it was good to see his opportunism against Southampton in the FA Cup. It’s important to score those types of goals.
The future RM Danny needs to train with the first team all the time and know what it’s like to be up against defenders like Rio and Vida. He’ll keep developing and, if he stays fit, he’s certainly got the qualities to be a regular.
Age: 21, Centre-half, Northern Irish
The story so far Mike Phelan (MP) Jonny’s loan spells at Sunderland (two five-month periods in 2006/07 and 2007/08) exposed him to regular first-team football, which allowed him to get his training and mentality right. When he came back, we really felt he had the potential to be a first-teamer – I think our judgement has been proved right.
Distinguishing features MP He’s tall and solid, has good mental strength, a strong work ethic and is very intelligent with his positional play. He’s also