Manchester United’s under-18s came close to winning the title last season, finishing second in the league.

United hope to go one better this season, but there is a huge amount of change expected. Many of last season’s squad including two top scorers Charlie McNeill and Dillon Hoogewerf are set to step up to the under-23s.

The likes of Zidane Iqbal, Charlie Savage, Noam Emeran, Bjorn Hardley and Alvaro Fernandez will also be playing regular under-23 football.

So there is a group of players being promoted to the under-16s, making up the new look under-18s squad.

United kick off the season on Saturday away at City at midday, a match which pits first against second from last season. The team then face Liverpool a week later and then Leeds. It is a huge start to the season against the club’ three historical rivals.

The tough start to the season and a bloated under-23 squad which will be reduced before the transfer deadline with players going out on loan could see a few drop down temporarily to the 18s. From September the squad should start to take shape.

Here is a look at six Manchester United under-18s players to watch in 2021/22…

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League U18
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Alejandro Garnacho

Garnacho was United’s third highest scorer for the under-18s last season and the team are looking for him to step up as the main man this campaign.

The former Atletico Madrid talent is now in his second season in England and should benefit from being more settled in and knowing what to expect.

Garnacho has enjoyed a strong pre-season and he will be looking to follow this up in competitive matches. Don’t rule out a promotion to the under-23s at some stage this season.

Manchester United v Derby County: U18 Premier League
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Daniel Gore

Young midfielder Daniel Gore is very highly rated and this season he will begin to make a name for himself.

Gore has made his under-18s debut last season and scored in the FA Youth Cup.

Former scout and youth coach Lee Waddington told the MEN earlier this year that Gore is the brightest player he has coached in 30 years, and tipped him for a ‘massive future’.

 

Ethan Ennis

Forward Ethan Ennis signed for United from Liverpool in the summer, so he will have an eye on the under-18s’ second fixture of the season.

Ennis, 16, can play up front or out wide and he will be an asset this coming campaign.

Last season he scored a hat-trick in the FA Youth Cup after coming off the bench, highlighting his potential.

Manchester United v Manchester City: U18 Premier League
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Kobbie Mainoo

United have high hopes for young winger Kobbie Mainoo, and a lot of confidence in him.

Mainoo made his under-18s debut last October at just 15, and he went on to make 11 appearances in total.

This season United will be hoping Mainoo can make more of an impact in terms of goals and assists, and he should relish the extra responsibility and feeling that he belongs at this level.

Manni Norkett

16-year-old striker Manni Norkett will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of last season’s top scorer Charlie McNeill.

Norkett is stepping up from the under-16s and has been in United’s academy since joining in 2018.

Norkett is a goalscorer and he will be looking to make a name for himself over the coming season.

Newcastle United v Manchester United: U18 Premier League
. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Marc Jurado

Marc Jurado has already made his under-23 debut but he is expected to begin this campaign with the under-18s.

Jurado has been assigned the team captaincy and can benefit from playing a leadership role in the group.

The former Barcelona talent is just 17 and he will be looking to build on a solid first season in United’s academy.

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