Manchester-born Tom Thorpe was unlucky to miss out on the Reserves' Player of the Year award in 2013 after a supreme season at the heart of the defence.
Revelling in his natural role at centre-back after a worthwhile stint in midfield helped hone his skills, the Under-21 captain led by example with a string of resolute performances. One of the main reasons for a run of clean sheets, he was accomplished on the ground and dominant in the air.
Lifting the Barclays Under-21 Premier League trophy after the win against Tottenham was not his first experience of picking up silverware at Old
Trafford as he was also captain of the FA Youth Cup team in 2011.
Although needing to be patient as he was not initially handed a regular spot in the Reserves, at least he was able to prove his versatility by adapting to a holding midfield role. Aside from his natural defensive qualities, Tom is also assured and composed on the ball and a good passer. He is capable of bringing the ball out of defence and also offers an aerial threat from set-pieces in the opposition box.
Some injury niggles did not help his cause at the start of the 2011/2012 season but he must have been one of the first names on the