Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and co expressed their delight on social media after Manchester United clinched a Champions League spot on Sunday.
Europe’s top club competition is better for having United and it’s top players in it.
And so too is Europe’s top developmental tournament, the UEFA Youth League.
United have qualified for the competition again as a result of the first team’s success.
This is a major boost for the club’s academy players and their own development.
Assuming the 2020/21 UEFA Youth League goes ahead of course, Manchester United’s players will benefit from involvement in the tournament.
At youth level these games have a big game feel, with the teenagers excited to test themselves against their European peers.
The tournament is for United’s under-19 players, meaning many of the under-18s who reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals will get a chance to feature.
Centre-back prospect Teden Mengi will be eligible to play, for instance, providing he is not part of United’s first team squad by then.
Mason Greenwood, 18, for instance would also be eligible to play, but he will be competing in the real Champions League with the first team.
Three potential stars
The competition is an ideal staging post for United’s top academy talent to shine and show they are ready for first team call-ups.
Here is a look at three players who could shine for United in the tournament…
Hannibal Mejbri: Last summer’s star academy signing from Monaco is already an under-23s regular. But the chance to put him on this stage will be too good for United to turn down. Mejbri may soon be pushing the first team and is only 17. Strong performances in this tournament could accelerate his chances.
Anthony Elanga: Young winger Anthony Elanga was prolific this past season for the under-18s, scoring seven goals and providing three assists in nine matches. This is an ideal chance for the Sweden youth international to shine.
Shola Shoretire: Shoretire became United’s youngest ever player in the UEFA Youth League when he was handed a debut in 18 at just 15-years-old. Now 17 and a regular in the FA Youth Cup run, Shoretire is on his way to living up to the high hopes United have for him. Expect the young winger to play a prominent role.
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