The Champions League for young footballers, is how the NextGen Series is billed, and so far it is doing its best to live up to that hype.
The competition for under-19 stars was formulated as a way of raising the levels of competition for promising footballers, for lets face it, the current set up in England is Youth Cup aside, relatively uninspiring.
Four clubs from the Premier League entered young sides last year, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Manchester City, and Liverpool. The tournament was won by Inter Milan, with a Raheem Sterling inspired Liverpool side finishing in third place.
Sterling can now be seen in full flow as part of Liverpool's first team, such is his rapid development. And that's the aim of the tournament, to help youngsters progress their careers.
Chelsea and Arsenal are among this year's English contingent to sign up, with the competition upping its number of teams from 16 to 24.
Chelsea's Lucas Piazon helped defeat United on the Blues route to Youth Cup glory last season, and he will be attempting to take his career to the next level this season.
United's youngsters? Well they have the Youth Cup to concentrate on, and newly created under-21 league in England is aimed to boost competition. Six of their opponents will have tested themselves against Europe's elite, and it really does seem as though United are missing out.
The players would have got the chance to test themselves against Europe's best, to get a further taste of playing against teams from different countries in pressured environments, which would stand players in good stead for any eventual opportunities in the Champions League itself.
The competition has secured a four-year-deal with Eurosport to screen the games, and the money will ensure the tournament's long-term future.
It does seem odd that United, such a cornerstone of youth development in the UK over the past several decades are being so reluctant to embrace the competition, and surely there are no drawbacks to doing so.
The club have a number of highly talented youngsters like Larnell Cole, Jesse Lingard, James Wilson and Mats Daehli, but their path into the first team is tough with competition for places. The increasing profile of the competition would provide a bigger platform for these players to make names for themselves and show they are ready to be considered for the step up.
It is likely the competition could be expanded in the future to a more logical 32 teams. United should strongly consider entering before they risk being left behind.
image: © Nasmac