Manchester United youngster Charlie McNeill scored his first ever goal for the under-23s in the first game of the season.
McNeill rescued a 2-2 draw against Leicester with an injury time goal to ensure the side shared the points.
McNeill made a name for himself last season by scoring 25 total goals for Manchester United’s under-18s, averaging a league goal every 72 minutes.
He did make two under-23 appearances last season, one as a substitute and one as a starter. This was the first time he had scored for the side, at his third attempt.
McNeill came on as a 68th minute substitute on Sunday, and added to D’Mani Mellor’s initial United goal, connecting with a cross from full-back Alvaro Fernandez to equalise with his left foot.
He almost scored a 94th minute winner too when his late effort flashed inches wide of the bottom corner.
A sign of what is to come
United are well set with strike talent at under-23 level. Joe Hugill was missing on Sunday, which may have enabled McNeill to get his chance.
McNeill though had featured regularly in pre-season for the under-23s and performed well, indicating he will be a prominent player this season.
By the end of last season it was clear he needed a fresh challenge, with under-18s football too easy for him.
At just 17, McNeill looks to be a very promising young striker and this will be the first of many goals he scores for the under-23s this season.
United will be patient with him, but McNeill’s goal has shown he is ready, and there will be a case for him to start against Chelsea next week, while he would love to take on former club Manchester City a week later.
McNeill has set his stall out for the season ahead. Another 20 goal campaign at academy level and talk will start to turn to him making the leap to the first team.
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