By 90Min
July 23, 2019

Manchester United have a rich tradition of developing young talents, naming at least one home grown player in every single matchday squad since October 1937.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is well versed in that tradition, witnessing it first hand at the height of the 'Fergie Fledglings' era, and appears committed to continuing.

United already have a number of young players on the fringes of the first team, for whom 2019/20 could be a breakthrough year at senior level.

Here's a look at six United starlets who deserve a first team chance this seaon.


Lee O'Connor, 18 - DF

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Waterford-born defender Lee O'Connor has been with United since 2016 and has drawn comparisons with John O'Shea, with whom he shares his home town, thanks to his versatility and ability to play at centre-back, right-back and left-back.

The teenager made the step up from Under-18 action to Under-23 level last season and will continue his development. But a build up of injuries could yield a first team opportunity.


Dylan Levitt, 18 - MF

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Although he was ultimately left out of the summer tour squad that flew to Australia in early July, Dylan Levitt was training with the first team until they departed for Down Under.

It suggests the Welsh midfielder is at least on Solskjaer's radar and it could mean that a first team opportunity, perhaps in the early rounds of the EFL Cup, is not far away. He has already been called up to train with Ryan Giggs' senior Wales squad.


James Garner, 18 - MF

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James Garner has already been likened to Michael Carrick after making his senior United debut last season at the age of just 17. He was then rewarded with a new contract until at least 2022 just a few days after his 18th birthday.

Competition for midfield places will be fierce this season, but Garner is well placed to get a taste of more first team action as a relief option. He has also shown off his shooting ability after netting a low drive in the pre-season win over Perth Glory.


Tahith Chong, 19 - MF

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United's Young Player of the Year in 2017/18 and Reserve Player of the Year in 2018/19, Dutch winger Tahith Chong made four first team appearances last season and has impressed during his deserved outings in pre-season.

In a world of inside forwards, the 19-year-old has qualities more akin to a traditional winger that could make him the perfect fit for Solskjaer's system that demands high pressing, counter attacking and quick transition from defence to attack.


Angel Gomes - 18 - MF

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Soon to celebrate his 19th birthday, Angel Gomes has kicked on since becoming United's youngest debutant since Duncan Edwards back in 2017 and could begin to play more first team games over the coming months.

There is no doubting his technical ability, which attracted rumoured interest from Barcelona, although his small physical stature crucially hasn't held him back in pre-season friendlies this summer that haven't quite been as 'friendly' as the name would suggest.


Mason Greenwood, 17 - FW

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Still three months shy of his 18th birthday, Solskjaer has already confirmed that Mason Greenwood has a chance of starting United's opening game of the season against Chelsea.

The teenager, who played four times for the first team last season alongside a truly prolific campaign at junior level, has looked more than at home in United's pre-season games.

"He's got a chance to start that one [against Chelsea] definitely. He's capable, more than capable. He'll always be there in and around the box creating chances," Solskjaer said.

Greenwood has also been raved about by teammates, including Marcus Rashford, whose own rise to the first team in 2016 was much more surprising - "His natural abilities are frightening."

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