Manchester United’s under-18s side underwent a makeover this summer, with key players like Charlie McNeill and Dillon Hoogewerf stepping up to the under-23s.
This created a pathway for a new group of players to kick on at under-18s level, and the next batch of stars are already cooking.
Dan Gore, Kobbie Mainoo and Manni Norkett have all impressed, with United kicking on after suffering initial back to back defeats to start the season without scoring.
Now the team have won four matches in a row, with Sam Mather the key player.
Making a name for himself
Mather has been in unstoppable form over the past month, with United’s under-18s winning three league games and one in the Premier League Cup.
At the weekend Mather scored one and assisted another in the 5-0 victory away at Newcastle, where the under-18s lost 3-2 late last season.
Mather has now scored three goals and provided seven assists already this season, in just seven appearances.
The 17-year-old is a winger who enjoys taking players on, but also knows when to play the crucial pass.
In the recent victory over Stoke a week ago, Mather helped himself to a hat-trick of assists, demonstrating the threat he poses.
Mather has just been called up into the England under-18s squad alongside teammate Dan Gore.
A response from Mather’s teammate Gore spelled out the high regard United’s players have for the creative maestro.
In a reply to Mather’s message celebrating the win over Newcastle, Gore wrote, ‘Nice assist Bruno’.
Fernandes provided his 20th Premier League assist at the weekend and has 29 in all competitions since joining the club.
He is a great role model for Mather to aspire to – although he may be more of a Cristiano Ronaldo fan.
Mather marked his first goal of the season against Leeds with a Ronaldo ‘Siuuu’ celebration, the day after United’s move to bring back the club legend was announced.
If the youngster keeps up the good work for the under-18s and continues to produce goals and assists at a prolific rate, he could find himself training alongside Fernandes and Ronaldo quicker than he ever dreamed possible.
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