Four Manchester United starlets should get a chance before the end of the season

Everything else may be going wrong for Manchester United and has been doing so for some time but even still the club remains at the cutting edge of youth development and continues to produce a never-ending stream of talented players.

Whether it’s developing local lads from tender years or snapping up some of the most exciting prospects from the world’s best teams, United remains the place to be for hopeful footballers to make their way into the game. It’s been a proud tradition the club has somehow maintained despite a decade of chaos and it’s one that should be looked towards once again for the remainder of the season.

Though Arsenal’s shocking 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace on Monday did reopen a door that looked to have been slammed shut, United still appear very unlikely to finish in the top four this season. Ralf Rangnick’s side are currently down in 7th place, three points behind the Gunners and Tottenham and are in an awful run of form.

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Sunday’s dreadful draw with Leicester City showed no signs of United looking rejuvenated following the international break and they have now won just three of their last eight Premier League outings. The club’s misfortunes can not be blamed on Rangnick but at this stage, it’s clear that picking the same team week in, week out, is not working and change is needed.

With a Champions League place slipping away and no sign that the senior stars have it in them to wrestle their way up the table, why not give chances to more of the club’s promising starlets? Anthony Elanga has taken his chance and has been a breath of fresh air in a team that otherwise looks void of belief and passion.

United do not have anything else to lose so here are four youngsters who should get a chance before the end of the season …


The academy star knocking on the door the most is Hannibal but the playmaker has still not managed to add to his senior appearances since making his debut on the final day of last season. There’s been a good reason for that as he has been away for two big chunks of the campaign getting invaluable experience representing Tunisia at international tournaments but it has limited his United playing time to just 11 games in the youth ranks.

Hannibal Mejbri is on the brink of the United first-team

Yet, the playmaker remains very highly rated after being promoted to first-team training permanently and being named on the bench four times by Rangnick. United have been severely lacking some ingenuity and spontaneity in the middle of the park and Hannibal may be able to provide that spark.

Alejandro Garnacho

The undisputed breakout star of the season from the youth teams is Alejandro Garnacho. The exciting winger has rocketed through the ranks since arriving from Atletico Madrid two years ago and has shone this season, especially in United’s march to their first FA Youth Cup final since 2011.

Garnacho has bagged an impressive five goals and three assists in the club’s five games in the competition, with some stunners to boot, and earned his first call-up to the Argentina squad at just 17-years-old during the recent international break. While Jadon Sancho has been looking good recently, United have been lacking on the opposite flank so Garnacho’s skill, directness and quality final product might be what they need. Even if he is still very young.

Alvaro Fernandez

Another problem position for United this season has been left-back. After his incredible campaign last year, culminating in a goal in the EURO 2020 final, Luke Shaw’s performance levels have dropped markedly and, though he is good going forward, Alex Telles has a quality ceiling and is a weak link in a back-line.

With two experienced options not doing the job, teenager Alvaro Fernandez should get given a chance instead. The Spaniard has been a near ever-present in Neil Wood’s Under-23 side this season, playing 20 of a possible 23 matches as well as an additional nine games in the UEFA Youth League and EFL Trophy, and has been excellent in most of them . The Spaniard has proven a threat going forward with four goals and six assists and has also been very solid at the back.

Joe Hugill of Manchester United U21s.

Joe Hugill

With Edinson Cavani repeatedly unavailable, Marcus Rashford in horrendous form, Anthony Martial loaned out and Mason Greenwood unavailable, United have a severe lack of options up-front with Cristiano Ronaldo the only real contender for the spot. So it’s high time another option was added.

Joe Hugill has been banging in the goals since he arrived from Sunderland 18-months ago with 16 in his first season and 13 this season so far. A pacey front-man with great movement and clinical in front of goal is exactly what United need and he would certainly provide something different when chasing a goal.

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