With Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah breaking into the first team last campaign and Axel Tuanzebe being on the fringe of the first team squad, we take a look at the Academy players tipped to make it big.
Dutch 17-year old Tahith Chong is one of the most talented prospects currently plying their trade with the United reserves. Signed from Feyenoord, he won the Rinus Michels Award for the most promising academy player in Netherlands for five years running. He can play down the middle, on the wings or even in midfield. Armed with a skillful left foot, Chong has a knack of scoring goals from outside the box. He pace and explosiveness on the field make defending him an improbable task. Neighbours City, Arsenal and Chelsea were all interested in Tahith before he chose United.
It was the Otten Cup, and young Callum Gribbin picked up the ball outside the area. He then wove past four Barcelona defenders and then kept his composure for a cool finish into the back of the net. Comparisions with Messi, Ronaldo and Giggs followed and if he half as good as the three, the boy will do well for himself. City reportedly tired to lure him away from United and offered him a mind-boggling £11,000 a week for his services. The 18 year old is also a deadball specialist. He is tipped to follow Rashford and Fosu-Mensah into the first team soon.
Gomes is another attacker. The 16 year old had a superb start to his season and is already making waves in the junior levels. Praise from Nicky Butt himself is flattering but Angel is already an England Youth international. Angel is so good that he made his u-18 debut for the club at the age of 14. Enough said? Gomes’ close control and ability to dribble past any defender means that his future will most probably lie in the No. 10 position. His decision making is also top notch and is racking up assists and goals at an amazing rate. Given the types of displays he has put up, I wouldn’t bet against him making a Rashfordesque entry into the first team in a couple years’ time.
Axel Tuanzebe was probably the closest to making his debut last season under van Gaal but a combination of injuries prevented him from doing so. His cameo against Wigan in preseason pleased Jose. He later spoke of Axel’s potential and praised him impact. His pace and athleticism helps him shut out the opposing attack. He has captained the youth teams. His composed style of defending mean he does not make any rash moves and tackles. In fact, you can learn more about Axel on our sister site, Eat Sleep Drink Football.
Another defender, Tyrell Warren can play at right-back but is also an excellent center-back too. He has often captained the u18 side at Carrington. One of the starlets earmarked for success by Nicky Butt, he was promoted to the first-team for the preseason trip to Wigan. He has already made an impression on Jose.