Manchester United’s season is winding down and fans are hoping to see more youngsters including in the first team squad.

Alejandro Garnacho was a last minute substitute against Chelsea on Thursday night, and academy teammate Charlie McNeill was in the crowd to cheer him on.

At the weekend, McNeill made his own case to join him in United’s squad against Brentford tonight, with a lively under-18s performance.

McNeill was a second half substitute in United’s 3-0 win over Derby, scoring one and setting up another.

Manchester United v Derby County: U18 Premier League
Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

McNeill came on with United 1-0 up, and along with substitute Sam Mather, combined for a goal and assist, with both players assisting each other.

18-year-old McNeill actually had the chances to score a hat-trick during his short cameo, constantly getting into positions which tested the opposition backlines.

McNeill is now United’s leading goal contributor at academy level this season, with 24 goal involvements in total.

These include 16 goals and eight assists, combined at under-23s and under-18s level, also taking into account the UEFA Youth League.

This is one more than Alejandro Garnacho’s 23 contributions, of 17 goals and six assists, while Sam Mather is also on 23, (10 goals and 13 assists), although these have all been at 18s level.

United manager Ralf Rangnick spoke about a need for United to sign ‘two strikers’ this summer, after the game with Chelsea.

It would be so much better to see McNeill on United’s bench, rather than a half-fit Edinson Cavani, who is set to leave the club this summer.

With five of his goals coming in the Youth Cup, like Garnacho, it would be fair to say McNeill would deserve his opportunity.

Garnacho also on the scoresheet

Liverpool U23 v Manchester United U23: Premier League 2
Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

There is a question mark over whether any of United’s youngsters will start tonight’s game against Brentford, with all four on the bench against Chelsea, in action for the under-23s on Sunday.

Alejandro Garnacho, Alvaro Fernandez, Shola Shoretire and Hannibal all started in an away game against Liverpool.

A defensive mix-up saw United concede early, before Garnacho struck his 17th goal of the season.

This came after Fernandez won the ball back aggressively in his own half, setting Garnacho away on the counter attack.

Reminiscent of a Ruud van Nistelrooy goal at Highbury against Arsenal, Garnacho ran towards goal before chipping the onrushing goalkeeper.

United did not win the game however, going on to lose the match 3-1. Garnacho, Fernandez and Hannibal were all substituted off after 69 minutes, possibly with an eye on a bench place for the first team.

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