New faces can do a lot for any team. Manchester United’s academy side led the way on Saturday as the side played their first competitive match since March.
United’s under-18 side begun with a 2-1 victory over over Blackburn Rovers.
New signing Joe Hugill scored both goals, one in each half, to get his United career off to a perfect start.
Hugill joined from Sunderland in the summer and while he is just 16, he already has experience playing and scoring in under-23 football.
This was a confidence lifting way for the young striker to begin for United, especially with further new additions Alejandro Garnacho and Charlie McNeill expected to provide further competition.
Hugill’s first goal was a powerful strike from outside the penalty area which hit the post on it’s way in, after Martin Svidersky won the ball back in midfield and played him into space.
The young striker was a constant threat throughout, sending an early effort wide, having a penalty appeal turned down, and then shooting over at the start of the second half.
His second goal was another well taken strike, with Hugill smashing it into the roof of the net.
There is a glaring gap in United’s under-23 side for a striker.
Hugill turns 17 next month and while this is just one game, if he carries on like this then it will not be long before he is given an opportunity to step up.
Coach Neil Ryan told MUTV: “Joe was outstanding today. I thought he was really really good. He’s a real honest boy works so hard off the ball. He’s showing real good quality.”
New signings on show
Joe Hugill was one of four new signings on show as the club’s recruitment drive at academy level begins to show fruit.
Radek Vitek started the game in goal, while Logan Pye, another addition from Sunderland, began at left-back.
Midfielder Isak Hansen-Aaroen played an hour in midfield, with Hugill starting up front.
Hansen-Aaroen came close to a debut goal himself, seeing a shot from close range parried by the goalkeeper.
Robbie Savage’s son Charlie also started the game, making just his second ever appearance for United’s under-18s, Rhys Bennett debuted in defence, while winger Noam Emeran also started, having missed all of last season due to injury.
Signings from last summer Mateo Mejia, Dillon Hoogewerf and Bjorn Hardley were all involved.
New addition from Real Madrid, Alvaro Fernandez Carreras was an unused substitute.
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