With the international break coming to a close, let’s review the latest academy news coming from Carrington.
It’s been a rough start to Ricky Sbragia’s second term as Manchester United’s Reserve Team Manager. They sit one place above the bottom of the table, with only one win in six attempts. That win came against Leicester City in the opening match back in August. Granted, fixtures have been infrequent with two international breaks and other competitive commitments, such as the UEFA Youth League.
The Reds last outing was against Derby County in a 2-1 loss at home back in September. The Reserves have had a fractured squad so far this season; with many regular faces out on loan and new faces coming up from the U-18’s. Sbragia will hope for a run of games with a steady, consistent team lining up.
James Wilson has returned to the Reserve squad and has played in the last four games, scoring once. Wilson, who many may remember enjoyed a breakout year for the first-team back in 2013/14, has battled various injuries over the past seasons. Featuring in games for the Reserves should get his fitness back. He is an obvious talent that could do with regular football – a loan move may soon appear.
The Reserves will look to kick-start their season now the international break is over. They face a tricky away trip to East London to play West Ham United at the London Stadium. West Ham sit 5th in the table, five points ahead of United.
Five games into the season, United find themselves with eight points and sitting in fifth place. After an opening day loss to West Brom, United have gone four unbeaten; winning twice and drawing the other two. The Red Devils last game was a 1-1 draw away at Everton at the end of September. Kieran McKenna’s side are chasing the noisy neighbors Manchester City, who have a perfect start to the campaign.
The U-18’s have exciting prospects developing under Kieran McKenna. One who is grabbing the attention on the international stage is Angel Gomes. Currently away on World Cup duty with England U-17’s in India, Gomes will be a sorely missed addition to the United squad. He has scored in both UEFA Youth League games, with two goals from set-pieces – a free-kick and penalty respectively. Gomes’ latest display of talent came in the World Cup, scoring a sublime free-kick against Chile in a 4-0 rout.
United will get their campaign back on track again when they welcome Wolves to Carrington this weekend. Its a stretch of three home games for the U-18’s, who will look to continue their unbeaten run.