Why is Tom Huddlestone playing for Manchester United Under-21s? Former Tottenham midfielder provides pinpoint assist in Papa Johns Trophy

    Tom Huddlestone has suddenly re-entered the minds of many football fans this week after playing a big part in the Papa Johns Trophy.

    Huddlestone made his third appearance in the competition as he came on as a second-half substitute for the Manchester United Under- 21s against Fleetwood Town.

    Tom Huddlestone in action for Manchester United U21s

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    Tom Huddlestone in action for Manchester United U21s

    The former Tottenham midfielder was appointed as an academy player-coach in August this year, taking over from Paul McShane who held the role previously. 

    This means that alongside a coaching role, he is registered and can play as one of five available over-aged players in the Red Devil’s U21 set-up. 

    In his latest appearance, Huddlestone stepped up to provide a pinpoint pass into the feet of Shola Shoretire who tucked in an equaliser in stoppage time.

    They would still go on to lose the tie on penalties, although the player-coach scored his attempt from the spot.

    The former Tottenham midfielder was appointed as an academy player-coach in August this year

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    The former Tottenham midfielder was appointed as an academy player-coach in August this year

    The superb assist led to United fans asking questions as to why the 35-year-old is not part of the first team. 

    But despite making over 150 Premier League appearances, his playing days in the top-flight are over and he is aiming to make an impact on the younger generation.

    As well as being part of the U21 squad, Huddlestone helps to provide coaching in-game and in training to the up-and-coming players around him. 

    Huddlestone is enjoying his time with the Man United U21s

    Getty

    Huddlestone is enjoying his time with the Man United U21s

    After joining the club earlier this year he tweeted: “Over the moon to announce I have been given the opportunity at this amazing football club to help coach and develop the next generation of talent coming through the system.

    “Grateful and honoured, now time to give back to the younger generation.”

    So, the former Spurs and Hull midfielder might just have proved that he still has the ability on the pitch, but his main goal is to make an impact on United’s youth. 

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