Academy Weekly: Four graduates net in PL

Wednesday 29 November 2023 09:00

On a weekend where a stunning goal from Alejandro Garnacho made headlines around the world, find out everything you need to know from the last seven days at our world-famous youth set-up as four graduates netted in the Premier League and our Under-12s and Under-19s prepared for international trips.


Congratulations to Garnacho on receiving his first Player of the Match award in the Premier League. The gong rightly came his way after a perfectly executed, jaw-dropping overhead kick to open the scoring in the men’s first team’s 3-0 victory away to Everton.

The Argentina international was one of six graduates in Erik ten Hag's matchday squad; the other five were Kobbie Mainoo - making an impressive first start of the season after injury - plus Scott McTominay, Hannibal, Joe Hugill and the scorer of our second goal, Marcus Rashford.

It was the 4,227th consecutive match in which United have named an Academy graduate in the matchday squad, a run dating back 86 years to 30 October 1937.

Watch Garnacho's overhead kick Video

Watch Garnacho's overhead kick

Alejandro's stunning acrobatic effort against Everton will be talked about for years to come...

Congratulations should also go to fellow graduate Teden Mengi (pictured above) - the defender's first senior goal helped Luton Town to secure their first-ever home win in the Premier League.

Everyone at the Academy was also pleased to see Anthony Elanga’s continued success at Nottingham Forest. While his side were ultimately beaten in a tight game against Brighton, Elanga’s headed opening goal was a testament to the hard work he put in to improve that part of his game while at the club.


Our Under-12s will travel to Ypres in Belgium before Christmas, after a recent tournament victory in England.

A Premier League-wide education project, studying the Christmas Truce is a key part of the United Education programme. In 1914, British and German soldiers on the Western Front reportedly agreed an unofficial ceasefire and played football together in ‘no man’s land’ on Christmas Day.

The Under-12s enjoyed a series of workshops and experiences over October and November. These included a 360-degree immersive video experiences at UA92, a visit to the Staffordshire Regiment Museum and their replica WW1 trench with actors re-enacting the Truce, an exchange of gifts with Aston Villa’s Academy, and, finally, our own ‘truce match’, against Manchester City.

Before the 'truce match' began, poppy garlands were exchanged and The Last Post was played.

Under-12s compete in Christmas Truce challenge


Our Academy players were educated on a historic moment that occurred during the War.

To illustrate their knowledge of the Christmas Truce and the impact it has had on them, players were then tasked with presenting the work they created over the course of the consecutive sessions.

Throughout the project, the boys were also educated on the Windrush generation, with Andy Cole — a Windrush descendant — giving a talk to players from United and City about his career.

“Through this initiative, we're not just shaping football skills; we're fostering a deeper understanding of respect, diversity, and history,” lead education officer Wayne Cahill said.

“This project embodies the core principles of 'A United Education,' creating a rich learning experience that extends beyond the field, connecting generations and cultures through the profound lessons found in football."

Further information on this project and the full education programme at the Academy will be detailed in an upcoming issue of our matchday programme United Review. Get your copy for the match against AFC Bournemouth on 9 December to learn more.

U18s highlights: Southampton v United Video

U18s highlights: Southampton v United

Watch the key moments as our young Reds faced off against the Saints in the U18 Premier League Cup...


United's Under-18s all but secured a place in the U18 Premier League Cup quarter-finals with a 5-1 win at Southampton.

Ethan Wheatley scored four goals and Gabriele Biancheri one, with Princewill Ehibatiomham scoring a consolation goal for the hosts in added time. You can watch the match highlights above.


United will play Derby County in the FA Youth Cup third round after the Rams defeated Bolton Wanderers 4-1 in Round Two on Monday night.

Garnacho is one of four players from our last FA Youth Cup-winning side to feature in the first team.


Youth League in Turkey

After late heartbreak on Matchday 4 in Copenhagen, Travis Binnion’s Under-19s now travel to Istanbul to take on a talented Galatasaray side.

The young Reds have amassed four points thus far with a home win over Galatasaray and away draw at FC Copenhagen. That leaves us two points behind second-placed Bayern Munich.

Under-21s return to action

After a significant break in competitive action, Binnion’s Under-21s face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (12:00 GMT). During the break in the Premier League 2 schedule, the young Reds have been challenged in several behind-closed-doors friendlies.

Under-18s host Wolves

The Under-18s welcome Wolves to Carrington on Saturday. Kick-off is at 11:30 GMT and the game will be shown live on MUTV, and the United App.