Mourinho
By Aleksandr Osipov from Ukraine (José Mourinho / Жозе Моуринью) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Football Fan

Jose Mourinho has really been a contrast of his older self while at Manchester United. Showing faith in players who he felt weren’t good enough and turning to youth when needed.

Manchester United are a club whose foundations are built on their reliance on youth. The Busby Babes, Fergie’s Fledglings all form an important chapter in their successful history.

Every successful manager at this club has trusted in a fusion between youth and experience to deliver silverware on a regular basis. Mourinho used a similar formula last season and won the Community Shield and 2 major trophies in his first year in charge.
Rashford and Lingard are more or less, regular starters at Manchester United. Paul Pogba is also a product of Manchester United’s academy.

Let us have a look at other players from the academy who can be expected to feature prominently this season.

 

  • Andreas Pereira

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He’s had to be patient and wait for his chance at the club. One-half of the Pereira brothers at Manchester United, his brother Joel has enjoyed a successful bit-part role at the club of late. One of United’s stellar players at the U-21 level, expect him to be a regular name on the match day squad this season.
An able attacking midfielder gifted with silky movements and Iniesta-esque movements, he is more than capable of unlocking defences with his vision and passing. He spent last season on loan in La Liga with Spanish side Granada, proving to be one of their standout performers in an otherwise gloomy season.
He scored 5 goals and 3 assists during his time there and will hope to carry this form into the new season.
His versatility is also a major plus point, as he can be employed as an attacking midfielder, a winger and a defensive midfielder.
He can also assume set piece responsibility and has been working on his ambidexterity of late.

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  • Scott McTominay

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Scott McTominay is a typical Jose Mourinho player. An enforcer in midfield, he can very well be a long-term successor for Michael Carrick. His growth spurt from 5’6 to 6’3 within 18 months has interested Jose who sees him as a physical box-to-box midfielder.

Having featured for the U21’s as an attacking midfielder and occasionally as a Center Forward too, his versatile nature is there to be taken advantage of.
The only negative is his lack of experience. Having been promoted to the first team by Mourinho last season, he does not have a loan-experience that is seen as vital for any players progress.

Nonetheless, Jose has mentioned Scott to be a part of his plans next season and that should encourage the youngster to perform to his potential.

 

  • Axel Tuanzebe

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Another player who was openly praised by Jose Mourinho last season, Axel Tuanzebe seems to be the frontrunner for young players seeking first team opportunities with the club.  Jose Mourinho said that he only needed 5 minutes to realize the potential he possesses. He even gave Axel his full Premier League debut before Manchester United’s crucial Europa League clash with Celta Vigo. Tuanzebe was tasked with keeping Alexis Sanchez at bay, a nightmarish prospect for any youngster, but one Axel managed to do with aplomb.

Axel is a resolute defender who can be played anywhere across the backline. He was mainly employed down the right during his stint with the U21’s, but he can play at defensive midfield too.

As we gear up for another exciting season of Premier League action, who else do you think can break into the Manchester United starting XI?

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