Academy Weekly: Graduates return, international action

Tuesday 14 November 2023 14:41

It was a delight to welcome back Academy graduates Teden Mengi and Tahith Chong as Luton Town visited Manchester United in the Premier League last Saturday.

Their presence in the opposition meant a total of seven graduates across the two matchday squads.

“The reception from the fans even on the warm-up, them clapping, I appreciate that so much as a player,” Chong said, talking to club media post match.

“United is such a family club so, even though you leave, you stay in contact with a lot of the players. It was good to see everyone again.”

Chong made 16 senior appearances for United and won both the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year and Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year awards in his time as an Academy player. He enjoyed loan moves at Werder Bremen, Club Brugge and Birmingham City, before a permanent move to the latter. He signed for Luton upon their promotion to the Premier League last summer.

Teden Mengi up against fellow graduate Alejandro Garnacho at Old Trafford.

Chong’s career demonstrates the hard work required to carve out a career in the English top-flight, requiring a range of different experiences. Everyone at United is proud of the progress Tahith has made, and the same is true for Teden, who departed Old Trafford for Luton in the summer, after two first-team appearances and loans at Derby County and Birmingham.

In the same match, Marcus Rashford made his 250th Premier League appearance, the youngest player to reach such a feat for United. It’s another milestone in a fantastic career so far, with plenty more still to achieve.


Academy players represented the club at Old Trafford as players, staff and supporters came together to pay tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton as his funeral cortege passed from the Theatre of Dreams towards Manchester Cathedral on Monday.

Members of the Under-18s and Under-21s squad stood either side of the Trinity Statue. Sir Bobby will forever be a role model and inspiration for every child passing through the Academy. Nobody embodied the values this club aspires to better than him.

Academy players stand beneath the Trinity Statue (far left) as the funeral cortege passes Old Trafford.

Manchester United's Under-19s suffered late frustration on Wednesday afternoon, when earning a 2-2 draw with FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Youth League.

Travis Binnion's side hit the ground running with a quick-fire double from Ethan Williams and Ethan Wheatley, before Emil Hojlund halved the deficit from the penalty spot. A resilient showing at the back from our young Reds was ultimately undone, though, just before the end, when Amin Chiakha knocked the ball in from close range to deny us maximum points against the Group A leaders in the Danish capital. You can watch highlights below.

We sit on four points in the table, two adrift of second-placed Bayern Munich, ahead of our next outing, against Galatasaray.

U19s highlights: FC Copenhagen v United Video

U19s highlights: FC Copenhagen v United

Watch the key moments from our away clash with the Danes in the UEFA Youth League...


United's youngsters extended our unbeaten start to the Under-18 Premier League North campaign with a 3-0 victory away at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Victor Musa opened the scoring after just two minutes played at Brockhall, converting from the penalty spot after he was hauled down inside the area.

Our lead became two after 72 minutes, with Jayce Fitzgerald setting Musa free to race through on goal one-on-one. Rounding goalkeeper Solomon Honor, the 17-year-old forward tucked away his effort from an acute angle.

His hat-trick was then completed shortly after, slamming home from close range after Honor had kept out Fitzgerald's initial effort on goal. You can watch highlights below.

U18s highlights: Blackburn v United Video

U18s highlights: Blackburn v United

Watch the key moments as the young Reds travel to Brockhall to take on their Blackburn counterparts...


International action

Young Reds across all age groups will leave Carrington to train and play with their international squads, a fantastic opportunity which exposes them to different coaching and playing styles as well as new life experiences.

Little sums this up better than our Under-18s midfielder Finley McAllister benefiting from traditionally warm Indonesian hospitality at the Under-17 World Cup, where he’s representing England. McAllister and his team-mates visited local team Garuda Lions to see how the club is providing opportunities for underprivileged children in the area through football.

McAllister came off the bench to score in England’s opening game at the tournament, a 10-0 win over New Caledonia.

Also representing the Three Lions this international break are: Kobbie Mainoo and Elyh Harrison (U19s), Harry Amass and Jack Fletcher (U17s, Euro qualifiers). Dan Gore has withdrawn from England’s Elite League squad to play Italy and Germany through injury, but Omari Forson will be involved with the U20s.

Elsewhere around the world, Malachi Sharpe (U18s), Jack Kingdon and Louis Jackson (both U19s) will represent Scotland, Radek Vitek the Czech Republic’s U20 side, James Scanlon Gibraltar U21s and Isak Hansen-Aaroen Norway U21s.