Max Taylor congratulates Arnau Puigmal.

Reds host prestigious Under-19s AC Milan friendly

Manchester United are staging an Under-19s friendly with AC Milan at Leigh Sports Village tonight (19:00 GMT kick-off), with all the action exclusively live on MUTV.

The fixture is the latest in an innovative games programme that has been arranged by the club to ensure wider experiences for our teenagers against top-quality opposition.

The Reds faced Hertha Berlin, in Sepember, and also enjoyed an international Under-18s tournament at the AJ Bell Stadium during the summer.

There is also an Under-17s friendly being played earlier on Friday against PSV Eindhoven at the Aon Training Complex.

United's head of first-team development, Nicky Butt, believes the chance to take on the Rossoneri is a wonderful opportunity for our youngsters, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed first-teamer Diogo Dalot will use the game to step up his return to full fitness.

“It’s a special game, two giants of European football,“ Butt told us. ”AC Milan, right back to when I was watching Italian football, they were the dominant team and, historically, they are a massive club and have had some unbelievable players over the years. So, to get a chance to play them and give our young boys a chance to play against Milan, is great.

“To play them is a massive draw for us and we are all excited about it, it’s a big game and we’ll have a good team out, so we are really looking forward to it. It’ll be a special experience for our boys to play in this fixture.

“Just looking at that kit alone, it must be how other kids feel looking at Manchester United, who are not involved in our bubble, from an outside point of view when you look at the AC Milan kit, it is amazing.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nicky Butt.
Nicky Butt with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“Different cultures have different ways of playing, different skills, different tactical game, different systems and variations and it all comes out in 90 minutes and we have to deal with it.

“The more times we put these kids in this environment, the better they are when it comes to the real deal when they are at Old Trafford for a Champions League game.

“We have to prepare them for that because this club is based around playing big games and they don’t come much bigger than the Champions League.

Matej Kovar catches the ball.
Matej Kovar could be in goal at Leigh Sports Village.

“Obviously not being in the Youth League, we have to come up with plans, and dynamic ways to make these games. We have a really good team and Steve Higham goes out and gets these games. We’ve got some great fixtures next year, we have to come up with different ways of making the games right for us.”

Watch the game live on MUTV from 18:45 GMT, as we continue our extensive coverage of the club's Academy teams.