Ever since his return to Old Trafford to take up the manager’s hot seat, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has not been afraid to give youth a chance at the club.
Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have both been given plenty of opportunities to shine and are now integral members of the senior team.
Here is a look at who may be the next players to break out of United’s under-23 side into the first team this season.
Frenchman Hannibal Mejbri has been one of the stars of United’s under-23 team over the past couple of years since signing from Monaco.
United did a great job of securing the youngster as he was sought after by Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and PSG. His decision to move to England probably says a lot about how he feels about fast-tracking to the senior team at Old Trafford in the near future.
Mejbri was one of United’s under-21s standout players in their two games in the EFL Trophy this season. He scored in the Red Devils’ 6-0 victory over Salford, while he hit the back of the net with his penalty in a shootout success against Rochdale.
The 17-year-old is a player who is very comfortable on the ball and has a creative spark. It may not be long before Ole tests him in the first team.
Defender Di’Shon Bernard has already had his taste of senior football at Manchester United as he made his debut in the Europa League last season against FC Astana.
The defender signed a deal last year to keep him at United until 2022. Given the lack of depth at centre-back in the senior team, Bernard will be hoping to be considered for that position, at the very least.
The Premier League is likely to be the priority for Ole this season. His side are priced at 50/1 to win the title in the Premier League betting, although even the top four might be a struggle this season as they are sixth favourites at 12/5 to achieve that. The very minimum the United boss will be demanding from his players is to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City. The cup competitions, therefore, may be the chance for the likes of Bernard to feature alongside some of the fringe players in the first team.
A number of clubs are thought to be interested in signing Bernard on loan, including Huddersfield and Coventry. A short-term move may benefit United as it allows him to get some senior football under his belt early in the campaign which will aid his development.
Winger Anthony Elanga was named the Jimmy Murphy Youth Team Player of the Year last season. The same award Mason Greenwood won in 2018/19. Elanga will be hoping he can advance through the ranks to the senior team like Greenwood has been able to do.
The Swede is a pacey winger who has been on Manchester United’s books since he was 14. He has played for Sweden at various youth levels. It may only be a matter of time before United fans see Elanga on the wing in Ole’s team. He is a player United fans should be very excited about as he may be a future star in the team.
For now, the above three players will continue to feature for Neil Wood’s under-23 team, with the EFT Trophy well within their reach given the quality they have in their squad.