Ole to keep tabs on his 'exciting' United prospects
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be watching the club's Academy players with interest as the 2020/21 season unfolds.
The Reds' youngsters kicked off the campaign with an impressive 6-0 win at Salford City in the EFL Trophy last week before a side featuring five changes faced the opening Premier League 2 fixture against Leicester City on Monday evening. There was a valuable lesson learned against strong, more experienced opponents as the Foxes scored twice in the second half to win 2-0.
Unfortunately, the Under-18s' opener with Liverpool was postponed but Neil Ryan's side begin the term with a home game against Blackburn Rovers at The Cliff on Saturday (10:45 BST kick-off, live on MUTV).
The weekend friendly with Aston Villa provided opportunities for Teden Mengi, Ethan Galbraith and Anthony Elanga to obtain some first-team action and Ole's commitment to investing faith in youth mirrors the ethos of the club.
With the youngsters now playing again after a lengthy pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is hoping more options emerge over time with a hectic schedule on the cards this season.
“The whole of the Academies in the country must be excited because we lost so many months of valuable time for kids to play,” Ole told us.
“So I'm happy we're back.
“I think it's been looking good and there are some interesting and exciting prospects there.”
The boss was asked if the youngsters can take heart from the fact the likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams made such an impact at first-team level last season.
“I would hope so and think so,” he replied.
“That should always be part of being a Manchester United Academy player, knowing the pathway is there.
“We, as coaching staff and as a club, will always give good, young players a chance if they go through the ranks, when you're getting ready to get the chance to have a feel of the first team as well.
“Hopefully, some really improve over the course of the season and get in and around the first team.”
Highlights: Salford v United U21Video
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