Joe Hugill could be set for the biggest match of his young career so far.

The talented teenager is in line to potentially start in the EFL Trophy this week when the under-23s take on Sunderland.

Hugill quit Sunderland in July 2020 to make the jump to Manchester United. It is a move which has gone pretty well so far.

Hugill was so highly rated at Sunderland that he featured for the under-23 team at just 16.

United beat competition from Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves and Leeds to win the race for his signature, The Mail reported.

Bradford City v Manchester United U21 - Papa John's Trophy
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

After netting a brace on his debut for United’s under-18s, Hugill was quickly promoted to the striker-needy under-23s last season.

Hugill scored 16 goals in all competitions in a campaign in which he missed the last month with injury.

During the summer he trained with the first team and played as a substitute in two pre-season games.

Still just 17, he turns 18 next week on October 19, he has a chance to go up against his former club.

 

Back to the North East

The Durham born striker is going to relish the chance to play against Sunderland.

The match is being held at the Stadium of Light, and even though Sunderland will name a changed side featuring some second string players, it will be a great occasion for Hugill even so.

Hugill got a warm-up for the game recently as United’s under-18s visited Newcastle. He dropped down into the side and scored a hat-trick.

A similar return will be more difficult against the Black Cats, but not impossible.

United lost the group opener 3-2 to Lincoln City, before beating Bradford City 3-0. Hugill scored in the win at Valley Parade.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - U18 Premier League
(Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images)

A chance to kick on

It has not quite been a simple and straightforward season for Hugill at under-23 level though. The strike against Bradford broke a goal drought going back to February, and Anthony Elanga dropping down from the first team has taken his spot.

Elanga is away with Sweden’s under-21 side and while Charlie McNeill is back from injury, Hugill will likely get his big moment away at Sunderland, to try and add to the four goals he has scored in all competitions this season at academy level.

This is a great test for him to show what he can do and to measure himself up against more senior players at the club he left.

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