Manchester United kick off their FA Youth Cup campaign on Friday night at home to Lincoln City. They will expect to go through but recent seasons in the tournament haven’t been entirely successful.
United In Focus look at three players to look out for in the FA Youth Cup, the most prestigious youth football tournament in the world.
A regular starter for the under-23s at United, it’s not certain how much Teden Mengi will feature in the FA Youth Cup. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took Mengi in his matchday squad to Kazakhstan in November.
Mengi is a well-rounded centre-back whose physicality has allowed him to play up age groups throughout his United career.
He captained the under-16s and would likely have been this season’s under-18s captain had he not been promoted to the under-23s.
The 17-year-old is making a serious impression in the under-23s and his presence in a backline in the FA Youth Cup would be an enormous boost for United. It would make sense to select him.
Signed for £9.3m from AS Monaco in the summer, Hannibal Mejbri has cost United a pretty penny. But his talent is undeniable and coaches and fans alike are excited by the potential of Mejbri.
He’s got a low centre of gravity and drops deep to receive possession before taking it into midfield and splaying out a wonderful pass or dribbling forwards. His vision is matched by his technical ability and he’s a serious prospect.
At just 16, Mejbri is so young compared to his teammates, particularly when he’s featured in the under-23s.
He’ll be a definite regular in the FA Youth Cup side and it’ll be his first taste of seriously competitive English football which will benefit him.
A hard-working attacking midfielder who puts incessant pressure on defences.
Helm is a goalscorer in the U18 Premier League and will relish his first opportunity in the FA Youth Cup. He’s got three goals and four assists in that competition and his energy will be key.
Not one of the most well-known names in the set-up, Helm is still one to watch.
He’s the kind of player that often makes it at United because of his attitude and work rate.
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