Joe Hugill's academy goalscoring record among best in England

Joe Hugill scored a consolation goal for Manchester United’s under-23 side last week in a 6-1 defeat to Chelsea.

It was a lesson taught by a superior team sitting top of the PL2, with plenty for United to work on.

Hugill’s goal in itself was a small reason to be positive, with the striker prodding home a cross from Alvaro Fernandez.

The summer signing from Sunderland now has 10 goals in all competitions at academy level this season.

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Six of those have come for the under-18s, in just three appearances.

He has netted a further four goals for the under-23s now, where he has mostly featured as a substitute, but he is proving to be a valuable part of the squad.

Hugill, 17, has a record which stands up to any young player in England.

Hugill among most prolific scorers

The highest scorer in youth football in England this season is Tottenham teenager Dane Scarlett, with 13 goals. All of these goals have come in 10 games at under-18 level.

It makes you wonder what Hugill’s tally might be if he had started at 11 games for the under-18s, rather than playing in just three – and scoring six times.

Liverpool’s Layton Stewart is next with 11 goals in eight games. Like Scarlett, he does not have any under-23 goals.

Hugill comes in behind them both with 10 goals in total.

Top scorers at under-23 level are Jack Stretton of Derby and Ellis Simms of Everton, both with eight goals, and none at under-18 level.

Notably, United have another young player high up the list, with Charlie McNeill on six goals in eight under-18 games.

A terrific 2020

So far it is safe to say Hugill is exceeding expectations since signing for United in July.

A lack of under-23 strikers and D’Mani Mellor’s injury helped provide Hugill with a chance, but this only came about because of his outstanding start for the under-18s.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

United are giving him the chances he needs at under-23 level, and mixing him in with the under-18s to ensure he gets enough game time.

If he carries on scoring at this rate, it is very possible he finishes the campaign on 20 goals plus. That would be a terrific achievement in his first season as a Manchester United player.

Hugill is a special talent with a bright future, who still has a long way to go to make it at Manchester United. A few months in, he is on the right track.

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