Willy Kambwala makes impressive academy debut

Willy Kambwala was Manchester United’s under the radar signing on transfer deadline day.

United signed Kambwala from Sochaux, with the young centre-back going into the club’s academy.

Kambwala, 16, is a France under-17 captain and he has quickly shown why he is so highly rated.

Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Debut success

Kambwala made a winning start on his debut for United’s under-18 side and showed different traits of his game.


United beat Derby County 4-0 with Charlie McNeill (2), Noam Emeran, and Omari Forson the goalscorers.

Kambwala came close to getting on the scoresheet himself in the first half, having a header on goal from a corner.

He showed a good jump to connect with the ball and was unlucky to see his effort saved.

On the ball Kambwala was calm, passing well and helping United retain possession and build from the back.

There was one occasion on which he found himself behind a Derby attacker who was through on goal, and without even breaking a sweat, he strided forward to catch him up and win the ball back.

If that channeled Axel Tuanzebe in Paris, his next contribution was an Aaron Wan-Bissaka like sliding tackle to cut out a Derby attack.

Kambwala wrote on Instagram: “1st game 1st win 1st clean sheet = 3 points.”

Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Kambwala and United will have tougher tests, with Derby reduced to 10 men in the first half.

But as far as Kambwala’s debut went, it was an encouraging performance.

There were strong performances all over the pitch in this game, with Noam Emeran the pick of the bunch, with one goal and two assists.

Charlie McNeill’s well taken brace was a sign of a good goal poacher and he came close to scoring a hat-trick when a late effort curled just around the post.

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