Which Academy players have joined the senior squad?

Friday 12 February 2021 13:39

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that three teenagers are likely to stay with the first-team squad for the next few months.

New signing Amad has been in the senior bubble since joining, but two other promising members of the Under-23s side, Hannibal and Shola Shoretire, have also impressed in recent weeks.
With United into the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup and ahead of our Europa League campaign resuming in Turin next week (Thursday 18 February) against Real Sociedad, the boss is conscious that he’ll need a deep squad to choose from.
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Asked whether Amad, Hannibal and Shoretire would be staying with the senior squad for the rest of the season, Solskjaer commented: “The young kids? Yeah, we’ve moved Shola up with us, Hannibal will probably join us, and we’ll keep them with us for a while. Of course, it’s a decision we have to make – are they going to train with us and travel by themselves and not be a part of the Under-23s group?

“We felt, with Shola, it was time for him to train with us. In the Reserves games, he’s just got to travel by himself; he can’t be in the dressing room, but we felt it was the right thing to do for him.
“I think it’s the next step in their development and we’ve just got to take the hit on them when they play in the Reserves – that they’ve got to travel by themselves, because they’re in our [first-team] bubble.”
Shoretire, who has been at the club since the age of nine, signed his first professional contract earlier this month, while 18-year-old Hannibal has shone since arriving from Monaco in 2019.
Amad, who joined from Atalanta in January, has notched a series of goals and assists in his two appearances for the Under-23s, and was an unused substitute in the 1-0 FA Cup win over West Ham on Tuesday.

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Solskjaer acknowledges the season was about to get even busier with the return of the Europa League, and also suggested that a move to one-legged ties might be suitable, given that certain teams – our next opponents Real Sociedad among them – were set to lose their home-leg advantage due to COVID-19 restrictions in their countries.

“The travel in Europe at the moment is difficult as you all know, and it’s not the decision we made, but when one game is at a neutral venue, of course it’s a disadvantage for the team that doesn’t have the home game,” said Ole.
“But that’s out of our hands. There’s nothing that we can say [like], ‘Okay, we’ll just go to Turin and play one game’. I wouldn’t mind that at all. It’s one game less.”