A brilliant hat-trick from former Manchester United striker Mipo Odubeko saw West Ham U23s come from behind at Leigh Sports Village on Friday night.
Despite conceding in injury time of the second half to lose the game, a couple of United players impressed throughout.
Fernandez, a Spanish full-back signed from Real Madrid last summer, has been United’s most consistent academy player this season. At this stage of the season, ahead of Hannibal and Shoretire, Fernandez would be this writer’s Player of the Year.
From defence, Fernandez offers drive and impetus going forward consistently. When United need someone to step up and increase the tempo, Fernandez offers that.
It was Elanga’s first game back from an injury that had ruled him out since late January. The Swedish winger made headlines when he was included in United’s matchday squad for Thursday night’s UEFA Europa League game away in Granada. He had trained with the squad for a couple of days before.
Coming back into the under-23s set-up, Elanga looked sharp and scored a wonderful second-half goal. Hannibal fed him with a nice through ball to the left-wing, Elanga took it on quickly, moved past two players in the box with good footwork and finished well.
United were immature and meek in giving away a 2-0 lead. Brandon Williams might have made a difference had he still been on the pitch. His first half display was good but he was taken off at the break for Marc Jurado, the Spaniard making his debut at this level for United.
Williams was likely substituted as a precaution in case Luke Shaw doesn’t recover in time for Sunday’s first team game against Spurs.
When he was on the pitch, Williams put in a couple of good blocks and offered good attacking quality, playing Noam Emeran through one-on-one with a lovely ball on one occasion.
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