Could young Reds feature in the run-in?

Tuesday 12 April 2022 07:00

Former Manchester United men Danny Webber and Wes Brown have urged caution over any idea of playing youngsters during the season run-in.

The defeat at Everton has led to calls from supporters for some of the club's promising talents to be promoted into the senior squad, particularly on the back of the Under-18s' excellent run to the FA Youth Cup final.

One of our Under-23 regulars, Hannibal, was an unused substitute at Goodison Park, while Anthony Elanga has already made a real breakthrough this term.

However, Webber and Brown, who both came through the Reds' Academy, were in agreement during this week's episode of The Debate that first-team minutes need to be earned and the timing must always be right for any teenagers hoping to get their chance at Old Trafford.

How will the Reds react? Video

How will the Reds react?

The Debate | Special guest Dimitar Berbatov helps the boys discuss the latest United topics...

With seven games to go, host Stewart Gardner put the question to the panel about whether it might be time to inject some youth into the XI, as soon as this Saturday when Norwich City visit M16.

"You've got to go with your strongest team," insisted ex-forward Webber. "There's nothing wrong with the boys who have earned it and got to a position where they've earned a first-team opportunity, being on the bench or coming off the bench. If they've earned the right to be in the starting XI, then fine.

"But I don't think it's a case of throwing in anybody, just to give them games at the end of the season.

"The door [to the top four] is still open and while that's still there, you've got to go out with your best team and keep cohesion within the group to give us the best chance of finishing the season as strongly as possible."

Brown, who won 23 caps with England and a host of trophies with United, was in full agreement with Webber's assessment.

"We're still in the position where it's there; we can still get the fourth position," said the ex-defender.

"Listen, if they've done well in the Under-23s, and the manager seems them on a regular basis and they're doing well, then yeah, like Danny says, get them on the bench.

"Hannibal, for instance. He is that sort of player to maybe change games.

"I still think you have to play your strongest squad but if he's earned it, I don't see why not [select him]."