The 2020/21 season was the season when the U18s showed their dominance both domestically and in Europe by winning the double. Sadly, they missed out on winning the FA Cup, which means that we’ll have to wait another year for the saga of the “Class of xx” to begin, where we’ll try to turn a group of Man Utd youngsters into Man Utd greats. Because surely this is the season where they win it? Especially with all those exciting talents they have stol…I mean signed on intake day!
In this episode we’ll briefly go through the squad and expectations going into the 2021/22 season.
Players coming in
In the last episode we looked at the players coming in. From the actual Man Utd intake a single player was deemed good enough and that was left wing-back Tyler Murphy. He was accompanied by a larger group of players discovered at and lured away from other club’s intake days. This slightly immoral take on Academy recruitment is a bit of a hit or miss strategy, but it resulted in two 5 star potential players in central midfielder Florian Naessens-Mestdagh and right winger Jez Foley.
Based solely on potential, these players must be considered the most exciting Academy newcomers going into the 2021/22 season.
One thing quickly becomes obvious. The goalkeepers are utter shite. The fact that neither of them manage to reach a 1 star ability says is all really. It’s still an upgrade from last season though, when the squad completely lacked keepers. I suppose two shitty ones are still better than none, or am I wrong?
Except for the goalkeeper position the squad looks fairly well-rounded with high quality players in the starting eleven and at least decent backups. There are at least a couple among them that might actually turn into future first squad players as well.
Even though some strong players graduated from the Academy after last season a core of decent players remained, with De Groote, Alves and Cernak being the most exciting ones at the moment. Carlos Alves in particular has a very bright future ahead of him if he keeps improving!
After winning the double last season we aim a little higher this season. A treble would be amazing, at least if it included the FA Youth Cup, so that we can start the “Class of xx” challenge! I see it as a pretty realistic aim, considering the fact that the squad is slightly stronger this season compared to last.
That’s it for this unusually short episode (coming from me at least). In the next one we’ll look at how the team performed in the 2021/22 season, with the ultimate goal of winning the FA Youth Cup!