Forson scores fourth United U21 goal of season with Erik ten Hag watching

Manchester United teenager Omari Forson earned the Under 21s a 1-1 draw with their West Ham counterparts in front of Erik ten Hag.

The Athletic reported that Ten Hag’s attendance at the game was a surprise, and came just 24 hours after the Europa League win over Sheriff.

Manager Mark Dempsey admitted that the Dutchman’s presence negatively impacted a couple of his players’ performances, but Forson continued his good form.

He has trained with the first team recently, and took his opportunity to impress in front of the watching manager.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Forson shines in front of Ten Hag

The goal, which earned United a point after they had fallen behind, was his fourth of the season at Under 21 level.

He also recently scored against League 2 senior outfit Carlisle United in the EFL Trophy, showing he is capable of doing the business against experienced players.

It was also the fourth straight draw in a row for this United U21, who are on the younger side compared to some of the other teams at this level.

Forson was also named in the England Under 19 side for the forthcoming international break, so Friday was a memorable day for him.

“He deserved that (call-up),” said Dempsey, “he has been outstanding. He got his goal and you can’t be the top man every week.

The Athletic also reported that Ten Hag and his staff met with Nick Cox, the academy director, Dempsey and Under 18 manager Travis Binnion on Monday.

That is two weeks later than the meeting was initially meant to take place and they discussed the U21’s talent pool and made plans for the future.

Forson likely figured in those conversations and it will be interesting to see how Ten Hag manages the 18-year-old’s development from here.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.