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Up Next: Dylan Levitt

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Another exciting midfielder in the academy pipeline

FK Astana v Manchester United: Group L - UEFA Europa League Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

After more than a decade in the Manchester United academy, Dylan Levitt is knocking on the first team door. Let’s take a closer look at this 19-year-old midfield playmaker.

An Attack-Minded Prospect

No doubt, Levitt’s standout talent is his passing. The teenager moves the ball quickly (and accurately) all over the pitch, using an above-average range of passing to run the game from deep in midfield. In fact, according to Wyscout, he averaged 13.6 passes into the final third per 90 minutes.

Levitt turns quickly with the ball, keeping his head up looking for a killer pass into dangerous space. And, usually, he manages to pull it off. His passing serves as an asset against both pressing teams and those opting to sit back in a low block. Levitt’s vision can unlock most defenses.

While his plus points mainly lie on the attacking side of the ball, Levitt is a willing presser and never short of effort in defense. His defensive positioning and awareness, though, still need some work. That goes double for his physical development — Levitt is not a big guy and will likely need some serious time in the weight room to bulk up for the bumps and bruises of senior football.

Star Performer

Levitt got his first taste of U18 action in 2017/18, when he scored four goals (with one assist) in twenty U18 Premier League matches. The next season, he split time between the U18s and U23s — notching seven goals and eight assists across league play, the UEFA Youth League, and FA Youth Cup.

That stat-line put Levitt on the first team radar ahead of 2019/20. Just days after turning 19, Levitt made his senior debut in the Europa League at FC Astana. Better yet, Levitt turned in a strong performance that November night in Kazakhstan. Sixty-seven of his 104 passes went forward — showing an attacking intent that’s rare for debutants often more concerned with minimizing mistakes. Oh, and he completed 100 of those 104 passes.

Unfortunately, Levitt wasn’t able to build on his encouraging debut as he fell ill and did not play again until January. From there, he only played three more times for the U23s before the coronavirus pandemic curtailed the academy season.

Giggs-Approved

Wales national team manager Ryan Giggs has been an early supporter of young Levitt. Last May, Giggs called the teenager up to the senior Wales squad for a week-long training camp in the Algarve. He obviously impressed the national team boss because he was recalled for their Euro 2020 qualifiers in November.

Although Levitt is still waiting for his first Wales cap, Giggs remains sky-high on the talented midfielder:

When Dylan was in the squad [in November], we had must-win games so I couldn’t really throw him in and put him in that pressure cooker. But, in training, he’s one of the best. He’s my kind of player — a good character, quiet but tough, and he’s one that I’ll be taking a big look at over the next year or so.

I want him to develop and if he does and if he plays more games, then he’ll definitely be in the reckoning. He’s a really intelligent player with a good range of passing and he stands out in training in every session. As I said, it’s just a shame that I couldn’t get him on the pitch.

What’s Next

In the coming season, Levitt is likely looking at a loan spell in the Championship. And, with a worldwide economic recession in the forecast, there should be plenty of lower-league teams shopping for inexpensive loan players. There won’t be much of an offseason per se this summer — and no preseason tour — so hopefully a move can be arranged ASAP so that Levitt can hit the ground running at his (temporary) new club in 2020/21.