Manchester United’s history and reputation of bringing through young players goes without question and last season saw the emergence of Danny Welbeck, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as top Premier League performers so who should we be keeping an eye on at Old Trafford this season.
5. Will Keane
It is a shame that Keane has suffered a serious injury last month expecting to keep him out for up to 6 months. However he is still worth looking out for once he returns to action. Sir Alex Ferguson had planned to involve him in the first team this season but that won’t change if the boy can prove his fitness. Most likely to go out on loan upon his return from injury at just 19 Keane has already represented England Under 21’s with distinction.
4. Davide Petrucci
After signing for United from Italian side Roma in 2008 Petrucci had seemingly slid under the radar, after struggling with a series of injuries he came back fighting last season and has really brought himself to the attention of the first team again. His versatility and poise in the midfield plus an eye for a tackle should see Davide have some impact this season. An impressive 45 minutes against Shanghai Shenhua in pre-season also would not have gone unnoticed.
Another player who has been affected by serious injury so early in his career the story of Bebe caught the public attention when signed by Sir Alex for around £7 million. His career stumbled since then looking out of place in his United appearances and suffering a serious injury during a disappointing loan spell at Besiktas. He seemed destined for the exit at United but has reinvigorated his career with a brilliant 2012 pre-season, scoring once and creating another. His passing and strength made him unplayable at times and he will be hoping to carry that form into 2012-13.
2. Tom Cleverley
A strange choice perhaps but Cleverley’s injury ravaged season last year means he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations at Old Trafford just yet. After star turns on loan deals and a magnificent performance in last seasons curtain raising Community Shield match he is currently representing Team GB at the Olympics. This season he should regularity feature for the Red Devils and cement his place as a member of the first team.
1. Nick Powell
A product of the famed Crewe Alexandra academy Powell caught the eye with his impressive performances for the Railwaymen since breaking into the first team at 16 years old. A goalscoring midfield player he scored a screamer in the League Two playoff final at Wembley to cement Crewe’s promotion. Man United beat off competition for his signature and allocated him the number 25 shirt for the season. An impressive pre-season so far shows the 18 year old Powell may be making an early impact at Old Trafford.
Nick Powell’s playoff final screamer against Cheltenham Town.
What do you think of these youngsters and any others who might make an impact over the course of 2012-13?
image: © Andrea Sartorati