Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Brandon Williams.

More youngsters will get their chance

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised more opportunities for his young players as the disrupted season continues at breakneck pace.

The boss made eight changes to his side for the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final at Norwich City and still successfully navigated another obstacle on the road to clinch a spot at Wembley in the last four of the competition.

Brandon Williams was one of six substitutes used, to get his first minutes on the pitch after the restart, while Mason Greenwood also came off the bench as he remains heavily involved. 

Ethan Laird.
Ethan Laird has already obtained senior experience in the Europa League.

Tahith Chong, James Garner and Angel Gomes were also options for the squad in East Anglia as they have been working with the main group and striving to impress after strong campaigns with the Under-23s and frequent glimpses of senior action. 

Youth-team skipper Teden Mengi has made rapid strides and took part in the friendly at Old Trafford against West Brom. The 18-year-old is set to be joined by another defender in the near future with rapid right-back Ethan Laird earmarked for a call-up.

The Basingstoke-born full-back is not 19 until August but has already enjoyed two outings in the Europa League earlier in the season - against Astana and AZ Alkmaar.

“They keep on working every single day,” Ole said at his post-match press conference at Carrow Road. “Jimmy [Garner] is training with us, Ethan [Laird] will probably come in with the group, Teden has been there.

“Tahith and Angel have been working hard behind the scenes. Hopefully, they keep on developing and get an opportunity and I’m sure they'll take it.”

United are on course to field our youngest average side in Premier League history and the first change made at Norwich in the Cup on Saturday featured three homegrown products in Williams, Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.

The Reds' next assignment is at Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night but, with the FA Cup run continuing and the Europa League set to be staged in August, there should be plenty of opportunities for our young players to impress.

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