Report: Manchester United in talks with Tom Huddlestone for u21 player coach role
Manchester United are considering making a surprise free agent move for Tom Huddlestone, with The Telegraph reporting talks are underway.
But don’t get carried away or overreact, this isn’t the club’s idea of a Frenkie de Jong alternative for the first team midfield.
Huddlestone is being lined up as a player and coach to help the team’s under-21 side, as a replacement for Paul McShane, who retired from playing this summer.
McShane was hired as player-coach for the under-23s last season (with new rules now reverting this to the under-21s). Up to six over-age players are still permitted to play in games.
Manchester United considering bringing in Tom Huddlestone
Huddlestone, 35, is a free agent and is looking to transition from his playing career into a coaching role.
The former England international is an ex teammate of Wayne Rooney’s at Derby County, and spent last season at Hull City in the Championship.
Huddlestone spent the bulk of his career at Tottenham Hotspur, playing alongside Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov, making more than 200 appearances for the club. He was also a former teammate of Harry Maguire at Hull City.
A role at United is an interesting one, with the player-coach idea still a relatively novel one at youth level, even though United aren’t the only club to do it.
Paul McShane played in five matches last season for United’s under-23 side in the league and in the EFL Trophy, and is now a full time academy coach at the club, working with both the under-18s and under-21s.
Huddlestone has a wealth of experience to impart to United’s younger players, and the club are not exactly light on midfield talent at youth level, with the likes of Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Kobbie Mainoo and Dan Gore all talented players who could be fast-tracked into the under-21s, who could benefit from a more experienced helping hand to help with the physical side of stepping up a level.