Anthony Elanga.

Legends intrigued to see young Reds at Derby

Friday 16 July 2021 15:00

Manchester United legends Andy Cole and Denis Irwin are keen to see how the club's latest batch of promising youngsters perform in Sunday's opening pre-season friendly at Derby County, live on MUTV.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a number of the Academy products and players who have returned from loans last season training with the main group at Carrington, as the squad begins to reassemble following the close season.

Of course, with a number of key men on holiday after their international exertions, Sunday's 13:00 BST kick-off at Pride Park is likely to afford plenty of opportunities to see some youthful faces striving to show the boss they should be part of his senior squad for the 2021/22 season.

"It will be interesting with Wazza being with Derby," Cole told us. "It's a good one for Wayne, a pre-season friendly against Manchester United and, no doubt, it will be a busy afternoon.

“I'm looking forward to seeing a majority of the youngsters. I've not seen too much of them of late, down to the pandemic, and normally I'd catch up with them on MUTV. I've not always had the chance to do that so I'm keen to look at everybody in pre-season.

“Of course, Anthony Elanga is one for the future. It will be interesting to see what Ole does with the young players. Whether he keeps them with the first team or sends them out on loan. It's going to be very, very interesting.”

"I mean I'm sure the likes of Shola Shoretire, Hannibal, Ethan Laird is coming back from MK Dons," added Irwin. "I'm sure we'll see one or two players dotted about who will come in and try to break into that first-team squad and try to stay there.

“We've seen a little bits of them in matches last year. Elanga played in the last game at Wolves last season and did really well. They've had their taste and I'm sure they want more of it.

“Pre-season is a great opportunity for the young lads. We've seen it throughout the years, whether they've gone to California or wherever on the trips. 

“The manager usually takes four, five or six young players and integrates them into the squad. So it's a good opportunity for the young lads to train with them constantly and they will definitely get minutes, with the lads being at the Euros.

“Especially in the first couple of games, they will get opportunities to go and play and it's another great chance for them to show what they can do. 

“This pre-season is a bit different - Derby and QPR are up first - and there's not so much travelling. Everyone is looking forward to it.”