As the Premier League season gets underway this weekend, so does the U21s league, with United’s first game coming against Liverpool on the 19th August. United won the U21s league last season in typical United fashion after coming from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.
A new home awaits the young United lads this year, as the reserves make their switch to the impressive Salford City Stadium. A newly built stadium with an impressive capacity of 12,000. The stadium is used by both Sale Sharks and the Salford City Reds as well as the United reserves.
The bright sparks of that team have been promoted though, Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard may find themselves in the first-team this season due to excellent performances. Although they’ll be slowly introduced into the senior side, so may still be utilised in the U21s from time-to-time. Some players have moved on, too, Mats Daehli has decided to join Molde on a permanent deal, with Ryan Tunnicliffe and Reece James sealing loan deals.
Last year we struggled up front at times, with all of our recognised strikers being out on loan or injured. This year we’ll have the opposite problem, with Will Keane, Federico Macheda and Angelo Henriquez all currently still at the club. The chances are at least a couple of them will leave on loan deals though.
The midfield area is where United’s U21s are looking particularly strong. Nick Powell is still on his recovery from injury and no doubt he’ll feature for the U21s as he looks to get back to full fitness. They’ll also be chances for Davide Petrucci who returns to United after an unsuccessful loan spell at Peterborough last season. No doubt Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard will be available occasionally to United, who also have Larnell Cole available in midfield, who has recently been involved for England in the U20 World Cup.
Defensively United look very strong too. Marnick Vermijl, Michael Keane and Scott Wootton all featured for the senior team in the Capital One Cup last year, but all are expected to return to U21 duty at the start of this season. We’re very well equipped in the left-back area too, with Fabio da Silva and Alex Buttner expected to be on the fringes of things, they could find themselves featuring for the reserves occasionally.
The lads will be hoping to successfully retain their U21s crown, and with the strength in depth that United have they certainly have a great chance.
Anyone with official membership or a Manchester United season ticket can gain free entry for the reserve matches, so get yourself down there and support our future first-teamers!