Michele Fornasier is a commanding Italian centre-half who joined United from Fiorentina in September 2009.
Fornasier is one of a number of Italian youngsters to make the switch in recent years, following in the footsteps of players like Giuseppe Rossi, Federico Macheda and Davide Petrucci.
He made an immediate impact for United's Under-18s in his first season, appearing 18 times in the centre of defence.
He became a regular at the heart of the defence in the side that captured the FA Youth Cup - forging a successful partnership with captain Tom Thorpe.
A no-nonsense stopper, he made the step up to
reserve-team football in 2011/2012 and seemed to relish the extra physicality at that level. Appearing in 23 games in all (15 as a starter), he was a valuable part of Warren Joyce's plans and continued to develop as a rugged stopper.
His only goal of the campaign came in the Dallas Cup as his priority is shutting out strikers at the other end and he also enjoyed a couple of run-outs in a holding midfield role. After a call-up to the squad for the Harry Gregg Testimonial, he came on as a substitute in Belfast which must have been a proud moment at the end of a rewarding season.