Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Academy feel about United's last-day line up

Sunday 12 May 2019 12:33

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had promised to turn to youth when naming his side for the final clash of the season, against Cardiff City at Old Trafford, and his entire front six is made up of Academy graduates, with Mason Greenwood becoming the youngest ever player to start a Premier League game for the club.

The boss has complete faith in those who have been produced within the system and a number of youngsters have trained with the senior squad over the course of the campaign. For the first time in Premier League history, all six of our attacking options have been with the club since a young age and is testament to the ongoing production line at the Aon Training Complex, something everybody is rightly proud of.

Although our hopes of a top-four place were ended with the draw at Huddersfield Town last weekend, United can still finish fifth if we beat Cardiff and Arsenal drop points at Burnley.

Mason Greenwood arrives at Old Trafford ahead of his full debut.

Greenwood, at 17, is part of an attacking trio with Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford, while Paul Pogba, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay form the midfield trident.

Fielding a front six of homegrown talents would be appear to be pretty unique, Wayne Rooney played against Crystal Palace on the last day of 2017 alongside five youngsters and, during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign, Brian McClair featured in youthful sides in League Cup ties against Port Vale and Newcastle United before, in 2001, Dwight Yorke linked up with a rookie attacking line-up at Arsenal in the same competition. 

Back in December 1969, United selected David Sadler, Carlo Sartori, Brian Kidd, Bobby Charlton, John Aston and George Best in the same XI and later that season, it was also the case with Nobby Stiles coming in for Sartori.

James Garner and Angel Gomes are among the substitutes and will be hoping for a chance to get a taste of the action in the sunshine.

"We have been waiting to play Mason and he has been unlucky with a few niggly injuries," Ole told MUTV. "He has been training with us now for the last three of four months, looking really good, he has done well in the youth team and Reserves as well. Finally, he felt good and we can start him.

"My advice? Just relax and enjoy it. I don't think he will be fazed. He is not that type of player. It is just natural for him, he loves playing football, so just enjoy the occasion, go out there and express yourself, and I am sure he will do okay."

United: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Jones, Young (c); Pogba, Andreas, McTominay; Lingard, Rashford, Greenwood.

Subs: Romero, Valencia, Fred, Garner, Gomes, Mata, Martial.

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