Academy Weekly: Garnacho's debut, Emeran's contract
Another successful week for the Manchester United Academy was marked by the first team debut of Alejandro Garnacho, who became the 243rd graduate of the youth system to represent the club at senior level.
The Argentina-Spain winger came off the bench in last Thursday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford, having been an unused substitute in several previous games.
"Incredible moment making my debut at 17 years old for Manchester United in the Premier League at the Theatre of Dreams," Garnacho tweeted.
"I can’t put into words what I’m feeling right now, I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was four years old. Remember guys, Dreams really do come true❤️"
Here's everything else you need to know from the last seven days...
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Defeat for U23s
Our Premier League 2 trip to Merseyside ended in defeat. Alejandro Garnacho’s cute and composed finish drew United level at Liverpool after an unfortunate Shola Shoretire own goal early on.
Radek Vitek’s first-half penalty save was another highlight, but the hosts soon restored their lead with Rhys Williams’ header. Jack Bearne extended Liverpool’s lead in the second half, and a Mateo Mejia strike was ruled out for offside late on. That game wraps up United’s PL2 campaign for the 2021/22 season. Neil Wood’s side have developed well as a team and currently sit fifth in the table.
U18s league victory
A fine, controlled performance from Travis Binnion’s side earned the young Reds an emphatic home victory. Manni Norkett’s 21st-minute tap-in - after Derby’s busy and impressive goalkeeper Alfie Roberts had parried a Joe Hugill shot - put United ahead. After the break, substitutes Charlie McNeill and Sam Mather combined well and extended the lead, both finishing into empty nets after passes from the other.
Record sales for final
That’s United’s final competitive fixture until the FA Youth Cup Final (Wednesday 11 May, 19:30 BST). More than 48,500 tickets have already sold, and you can help the number tick over to the next incredible landmark by ordering yours now, and supporting the Manchester United Foundation.
FA Youth Cup media
In preparation for the final, the U18s are beginning to experience the responsibilities that come alongside such fixtures. Last week, they engaged in interviews with both external press and club media. Players are given media training throughout the season which has helped them prepare for this, and their growing confidence in dealings with the press is clear to see.
Emeran signs new deal
19-year-old French forward Noam Emeran has signed a new contract at Manchester United which runs until 2024, with the option of an additional year.
The 2002-born winger signed his first professional contract at United shortly after his 17th birthday in November 2019, having joined the club the same year from Amiens. This new deal is a reward for the development he's shown since then. Emeran has been in good form for United's Under-23s side recently, scoring in the team's recent Old Trafford draw with Arsenal.
Academy graduate achievements
Will Keane scored twice for Wigan Athletic in a 3-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town, thus winning the League One Golden Boot and confirming his team’s status as champions. The Latics have been promoted to the Championship, and in great part down to Keane’s 26 goals.
Defender Regan Poole was named Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Season for Lincoln City. Well done, Regan!
U14s involved in Football Remembers the Holocaust event
Manchester United hosted Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Maccabi Team GB, Manchester City and the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) at Old Trafford on Sunday and The Cliff on Monday as part of the 'Football Remembers the Holocaust' event. More details on an incredible day in Salford will come soon, but the Premier League and the HET paid tribute to United's education officers for the proactive nature of their efforts to teach the club's young players about the Holocaust and how antisemitism still exists in society today.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
Countdown to the final
Wednesday marks one week to go until the FA Youth Cup final. We'll bring you exclusive interviews with the players, coaching staff and key Academy figures, as well as the thoughts of John O'Shea, Paddy Crerand and many other legendary Reds on the game.
Friends of Academy initiative begins
Nick Cox, Head of Academy, will host a presentation to around 200 local football coaches at Carrington as the 'Friends of the Academy' initiative begins in earnest.