Goal of the Day: H is for Harrop
The latest instalment in our A-Z Goal of the Day series is the letter 'H', which stands for Harrop.
A product of Manchester United's Academy, Josh Harrop made his one and only appearance for the first team on the final day of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign, where he scored the opening goal in a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, which you can view below...
RISING THROUGH THE RANKS
Heralding from Stockport, Harrop arrived at United's youth set up in 2012 and would go on to represent the Reds domestically at under-21 level, as well as on the continent in the UEFA Youth League, which saw him play against Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad.
Prior to his first-team debut, Josh had enjoyed a fruitful 16/17 campaign in Premier League 2, finishing as our top scorer with eight goals from 21 appearances, including a hat-trick in his final U23 match against Tottenham Hotspur.
With the Europa League final in Stockholm looming and United's final position in the table cemented, Jose Mourinho opted to select one of the youngest Reds sides in Premier League history for the visit of Sam Allardyce’s Palace.
The average age of our starting XI that day was just 22 years and 284 days and Joel Castro Pereira, Demetri Mitchell and Harrop were all making their first-team debuts.
“He [Mourinho] asked me if I was ready and wanted to play,” Harrop said to PremierLeague.com.
“I didn't know if he was being serious so I just tried to be enthusiastic and said, 'I'm ready, I want my chance.'He said, 'Well you’re going to get it, I'm going to play you.' I kept it on the quiet until the day. I only told my mum, dad and sister.
With just a quarter of an hour played, Harrop was played in down the left-hand side by Paul Pogba. Despite being surrounded by Palace players, the 21-year-old cut inside on his right and superbly found the bottom corner.
Josh's strike made him the 100th different player to score for the Reds in the Premier League era.
WHERE IS HE NOW?
Josh left on a free transfer in the summer of 2017 and made the short journey to Preston North End, where he currently plies his trade for the Championship promotion hopefuls.
A regular starter in his debut campaign for the Lilywhites, Harrop only made eight league appearances in the 2018/19 campaign, after suffering a nasty cruciate ligament injury in a game against West Bromwich Albion.
The youngster has since bounced back and is currently enjoying his highest-scoring season so far, netting eight times in his 29 appearances, as Preston battle for a place in the Championship play-offs.
WHAT THEY SAID
“Last season [2018/19] was difficult for him, but the thing Josh has got is quality. He's one of those you always want to put in the team. He's a good player and I think he's got a great future here” Alex Neil - Preston North End manager.