Charlie McNeill scored a brace to keep up his dazzling scoring record for Manchester United’s under-18s at the weekend. But he could not have done it without Dillon Hoogewerf.
Hoogewerf scored United’s first goal in the 4-2 win over Leeds, and set up one of McNeill’s efforts.
This was the fourth successive game Hoogewerf has scored in, and his recent record has been tremendous.
In his last seven matches for the under-18s, Hoogewerf has 11 goal contributions, with five goals and six assists.
Hoogewerf’s goal was a header, his second in the last four games. This is even despite the fact he is often the smallest player on the pitch.
The secret to this is Hoogewerf’s movement. He timed his runs superbly and managed to get into space to attack the ball at the right time.
A player who makes things happen
United are learning about Hoogewerf this season, and it is becoming clear he is at his best when he has a central striker like McNeill to play off.
He likes to drop deep and get on the ball outside the box, rather than hang around like a poacher. He is a creator, who can be ruthless in front of goal when given the chance.
The youngster’s work ethic was excellent too. He tracked back throughout in the win over Leeds, and will have pleased his coaches in doing so.
Hoogewerf signed from Ajax two summers ago and turned 18 in February.
His next challenge is with the under-23s, where he has already got some game time this season.
He was denied by the woodwork in the under-23s game with Everton earlier this year, and managed to provide an assist in the win over Southampton.
It means in all competitions this season Hoogwerf has 11 assists, and 9 goals to his name.
He is a fantastic talent who could be a joy to watch play for the first team one day, if United can find a spot for him.
Hoogewerf is a fluid player, who can play across the attack or lead the line, but he is at his best when he is given a free role.
He has a low centre of gravity is is reminsicent of a certain Barcelona player, although we don’t want to go too far by making such a comparison, in terms of style, at the moment he is looking like a game changer every time he steps onto the pitch.
There is just one more under-18s game to go, next weekend, and he will be keen to try and score in his fifth consecutive game and finish the season on double figures.
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