Manchester United youngsters promoted to senior training profiled
Man United manager Erik ten Hag included four youngsters in Wednesday morning’s training session at Carrington.
Manchester United put the finishing touches to their preparations for Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Cypriot outfit Omonia Nicosia on Wednesday morning in an open training session at Carrington.
The Reds, following Sunday’s 6-3 horror show at the hands of City in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium, will be determined to bounce back in the best way possible when they lock horns with the Cypriot minnows. Omonia are bottom of Group E after losing their opening two Europa League matches this term.
United, by contrast, sit second in the group after winning one and losing one of their opening two matches. They got their first points on the board prior to the recent international break, beating Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 in Moldova, courtesy of goals from Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Such is the volume of games United have got to manage this month, manager Erik ten Hag is likely to make a handful of changes on Thursday evening, with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton scheduled for just 72 hours later. Therefore, it was no surprise to see a flurry of youngsters included in Wednesday morning’s training session.
Ten Hag has invited several members of United’s academy to train with the first-team squad since arriving at the club in May, both to aid their individual development and get a closer look at their qualities. Included in his latest session were Toby Collyer, Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Maximilian Oyedele and Omari Forson.
Midfielder Collyer joined United back in March earlier this year from Premier League rivals Brighton & Hove Albion. He signed a three-and-a-half-year contract and was very highly-rated by those who worked with him on the South Coast.
Since joining United, he has predominantly played for the Under-18s, but has been named on the bench in each of United’s Under-21s’ last three Premier League 2 fixtures. Collyer, a defensive-midfielder, has also represented England at Under-16 level and played for Brighton’s Under-23s just a week after celebrating his 17th birthday back in January 2021.
Like Collyer, Oyedele is another defensive-midfielder looking to make the grade at Old Trafford. The 17-year-old, who plays for Poland at Under-19s level, is continuing to progress through the ranks at United, becoming a familiar fixture for the Under-18s so far this term.
The Salford-born youngster is also capable of playing in defence, such is his level of versatility. To date, he has made 35 appearances for United’s Under-18s and three appearances for the Under-21s. He also stepped off the bench in the final of the FA Youth Cup in May.
Joining United a little over two years ago from Norwegian outfit Tromso, Hansen-Aaroen has gone from strength-to-strength in the club’s youth ranks. Identified by United as a 14-year-old, the midfielder, who is now 18, has already made more than 50 appearances at youth level for the club.
Hansen-Aaron, who is a versatile midfielder, capable of playing through the middle or out wide, has got two goals and an assist for United’s Under-21s in the Premier League 2 so far this season. Although he is yet to make his senior debut for the Reds, he made seven first-team appearances for Tromso.
Forson broke into United’s Under-18s squad as a schoolboy and has gone from strength-to-strength ever since, displaying plenty of promise and potential. The 18-year-old, who operates as an attacking-midfielder, has been a regular for the Reds’ Under-18s in the last two seasons and has made a bright start to life with the Under-21s at the start of this term.
In just six Premier League 2 appearances, the former England Under-16 international has scored three goals and grabbed one assist, meaning he has enjoyed a very productive start to the campaign. He also scored the winner in United’s Under-21s’ 2-1 win over Carlisle United in the Papa John’s Trophy in August.