Manchester United have already made significant moves in the transfer market as Jose Mourinho continues to refine and remould his squad in preparation for the new campaign.
Brazilian midfielder Fred arrived in a £52 million deal from Shakhtar Donetsk last month whilst Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot was signed from Porto for £19 million earlier in the summer. The high-profile duo have also been joined be veteran Stoke City goalkeeper Lee Grant, who has been brought in to act as experienced covered for David de Gea and Sergio Romero.
Mourinho is expected to make further additions before the start of the season but he should also consider casting a keen eye at some of the youngsters that have been making waves within the United academy over the previous two or three years.
Here are three youngsters that Manchester United supporters should keep an eye on this season.
Manchester United are currently blessed with an abundance of talented central midfielder players including Paul Pogba, the world’s most expensive footballer, new £52 million arrival Fred and experienced enforcer Nemanja Matic.
However, it is widely considered that James Garner will soon be listed among those prestigious names after the academy graduate made rapid progress over the previous twelve months. The 17-year-old only signed his first professional contract in May and he is set to tour with the first team during the pre-season preparations, putting him firmly on Jose Mourinho’s radar.
Garner is versatile central midfield player that is equally as adept playing in a holding position or in a more advanced role whilst he has also been utilised as a central defender during his spell in academy football. He is renowned for being a natural leader and is the current England under-17’s captain.
The midfielder was a central figure in the United youth team that won the Premier League North last season and he is being tipped to make his competitive first team debut in the coming year.
Jose Mourinho has struggled to find a reliable central defensive partnership during his spell at Manchester United due to injuries and the sporadic form of some of his senior players.
However, in Axel Tuanzebe he might have a potential solution.
The 20-year-old is renowned for his power, strength and pace and has developed a well-earned reputation as being the most talented young central defender on Manchester United’s books. His ability to read the game is reminiscent of Rio Ferdinand whilst his physical presence is similar to that of Eric Bailey.
Tuanzebe has already made a handful of first team appearances since making his debut in January 2017 as a substitute in a four-goal victory against Wigan Athletic and he spent the second half of last season on loan with Aston Villa. He played only a scattering of games at Villa Park as they club reached the Championship play-offs but will return to Old Trafford better for the experience.
Mourinho has publicly praised the central defender in the past and appears to rate him highly – he may way emerge as a regular feature of the United team if he is able to capitalise on any opportunities he is provided.
Manchester United’s modern history is filled with legendary players that were loved by supporters because of their pace, technical ability and creativity on the ball – in Angel Gomes the club appear to have someone that fits the mould perfectly.
The 17-year-old joined United’s academy at the age of six and has been hugely impressive throughout the formative years of his career.
He became the youngest player in over a decade to make his first team debut when he was used as a substitute in May 2017 at just 16 years and 263 days old in a late-season fixture against Crystal Palace, also becoming the first player born in the 2000’s to play in the Premier League.
Gomes can play anywhere across the three attacking midfield positions with his dribbling and innovative skill highlighting him from his peers. He is a somewhat diminutive figure but has the ability to dictate the pace and flow of a game with his intelligence, vision and impressive range of passing.
Since making his first team debut the 17-year-old has not featured for Mourinho’s side in a competitive fixture but he is being widely tipped to re-emerge and feature in the forthcoming year.