Manchester United’s Under 18s play in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night, and their star-studded kids may show that the future is bright at Old Trafford.

The academy team face Nottingham Forest in a bid to win the club’s first Youth Cup since 2011 when Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba were still playing for the side.

Man United’s Under 18s should excite the Old Trafford faithful


Man United’s Under 18s should excite the Old Trafford faithful

Just like 2011’s impressive side that thumped Sheffield United 6-3 in the cup final, this season’s Under 18s is full of promising youngsters.

The Red Devils starlets recently beat Newcastle United 6-0 and currently sit third in the league after another pleasing season.

So who is likely to turn heads when they play in front of the expected crowd of 60,000?

One thing is certain, with former United academy boss Warren Joyce in charge of Forest’s U18s, he’ll have prepared his players appropriately for the challenge ahead.

Alejandro Garnacho

One of the most talked about youngsters coming through the youth sides is Garnacho.

Born in Spain, the Argentina Under 20s international has been at Old Trafford since 2020 after he switched from Atletico Madrid’s B team, with the Red Devils shaking off competition from Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to land him.

The 17-year-old has made it to the first team’s bench four times this season, coming on for Anthony Elanga in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

Garnacho has been training with Messi for Argentina international duties

Instagram: @garnacho7

Garnacho has been training with Messi for Argentina international duties

The goal scorer has netted 13 times this season, four times in the Premier League 2 and five in the FA Youth Cup.

And as if playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t impressive enough, Garnacho has trained alongside Messi whilst playing for Argentina.

Charlie McNeill

McNeill has been scoring for fun this season. The 18-year-old striker has netted four times in the Premier League 2 and five times in the FA Youth Cup and boasts a tally of 17 in total.

The Manchester born starlet has spent a majority of his life in the club’s academy. McNeill did cross to the blue side of the city, though in 2014, scoring an enormous 600 times for Manchester City.

However, he returned to Old Trafford in 2020, scoring 24 goals in 21 games in his first season back at his boyhood club.

Whilst he is yet to make his first team debut, McNeill has an abundance of confidence and his passion for the club is clear.

Kobbie Mainoo

Manchester United fans recently joked that targeting Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham would be pointless given they have Mainoo rising through the ranks.

Applauded for his sweeping tackles and creative abilities, Mainoo is a promising prospect.

The midfielder only turned 17 last month, but has already been compared to 2011 FA Youth Cup champion Pogba and has played every game in the tournament leading up to Wednesday’s final.

Incoming Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag may not need to look too far to find his future star in the middle of the park in a few years time.

He also likes a nutmeg.


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