Lessons learned ahead of Liverpool

Manchester United's Under-18s face an eagerly awaited away game with Liverpool on Saturday (11:00 BST kick-off), live on MUTV.

“It’s always going to be competitive against one of our main rivals in Liverpool,” coach Neil Ryan told MUTV. “They are exciting games with a lot of passion involved and I think we’ll see Liverpool are a very technical, possession-based side.

You could see from our first game against Derby [in the 3-3 draw last week] that we have a lot of exciting flair, good build-up play to goal and there are some real positives we are taking into the weekend. We want to play free-flowing football and we are an attacking team.

”However, we have to be aware that there are two sides to the game and we’re working very hard on that in training. The messages we give the boys are, even when you’re in possession, be aware of the next thing like the counter-attack if the opposition win the ball. It’s how to win it back and get the balance right. We’re working very hard with the boys to learn these lessons from training and the matches we play in.”

Anthony Elanga dribbling against Derby.
Anthony Elanga made his U18s bow as a substitute in last season's game at Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Academy midfielder Will Vint has left the club and is returning to the United States. The 16-year-old has failed to secure the required Visa in order to take up his position as a scholar with Ryan's Under-18s squad.

Hence, his development will continue in his homeland, but United will ensure full support in this process, even though he is no longer with the club.

Naturally, everybody is disappointed with the situation and wishes Will well, with the club continuing to keep tabs on his development.

“It’s so unfortunate for Will, as he was settling in and training well with the other players,“ Head of Academy Nicky Butt told ManUtd.com. ”He is a well-liked player and we wanted him to be part of the group, and Manchester United, but sometimes these things crop up and you have to deal with them - for the club but, most importantly, the player himself.

“He will return home to America and look at other options and clubs – we will keep close tabs on him and continue to monitor his progress.”

Will Vint in Austria.
Midfielder Will Vint at the Austrian training camp over the summer.

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