Manchester United did secure one deal for a midfielder in May. United tied down Charlie Wellens to a professional deal.
It was a move with a bit of history behind it. Wellens’ father Richie was a former United youth graduate who went onto make a brief first team appearance in 1999, before a career in the Football League.
It prompted a proud message from Wellens Sr on his son penning terms on a his contract.
Wellens trained with Manchester United’s first team last September and hopes to one day become a regular.
Signing a deal is a bigger choice than it seems, Wellens is backing himself, and United’s coaching staff.
If Wellens wanted to take a shortcut to first team football, he could have taken the Jadon Sancho route and moved abroad.
The Sun reported Inter Milan were keen on him. He could quite easily have found an offer from ‘lesser’ teams with a quicker route to the first team picture.
At United it won’t be easy for him. There is intense competition in central midfield.Just in the academy teams there is James Garner, Dylan Levitt, Ethan Galbraith, Arnau Puigmal, Aliou Traore, and the much-discussed talent of Hannibal Mejbri.
Reports from The Evening Standard that Jude Bellingham, 16, could sign and be fast-tracked into United’s first team, could be off-putting to some youngsters, and show the value of signing elsewhere to a club like Birmingham where they would stand a better chance of playing now.
The names above are all jostling for scraps of the first team at present, and it is going to be seriously tough for Wellens to break through.
That’s not indicative of his talent. He is a clever player, smart on and off the ball, and he has a chance to reach the top.
This makes it so encouraging that he has chosen to stick around and fight. He is backing his own talent, and following his dream.
United need players with character, who are driven to reach the top.
This has helped Brandon Williams fight his way into United’s first team picture. Wellens has hurdles to overcome, yet at 17 age is on his side. This is just the start.
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