Manchester United have signed young talent Ethan Galbraith to a new contract.
The club announced Galbraith’s new deal on the club website, which will run until 2023 with an extra option until 2024.
This came after Galbraith’s winner helped the under-23 side to a win over Everton last week in his first league start, following an injury.
Galbraith travelled with United’s Europa League squad to Germany at the end of last season and spent a fortnight with the first team.
He made his debut as a substitute against Astana in the Europa League last season.
It was perhaps a more significant step forward for Galbraith to have featured in United’s only pre-season game against Aston Villa. He came off the bench and came close to scoring.
Galbraith stood out to us as a potential 2020/21 breakthrough star. His case has been helped by James Garner and Dylan Levitt going out on loan.
That’s why this season is important for Galbraith to make his mark with both competitors out of the way.
The long term contract takes a little pressure off, and shows the faith United have in Galbraith.
The young midfielder, 19, is a central midfielder with a bit of everything. He can pass well, dictate play, get forward and score goals.
His initial challenge is to stay fit and get a run of games for the under-23s and build a case for first team involvement.
In a team packed with talent in midfield that won’t be easy, when players like Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba sit on United’s bench.
If United can get qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League tied up early, then Galbraith could get a chance in a rotated side.
Otherwise he may have to rely on injuries, or a loan in January to test him further.
A show of faith
Galbraith is already a Northern Ireland international having debuted last season, although he has been back with the under-21s lately.
United have a firm commitment to youth, that has been shown by the splurge in signings for the academy this summer.
So it is only right to reward Galbraith for his progress, and show the new batch of additions what is on offer if they perform well.
Having also lost bright prospects Angel Gomes and Largie Ramazani on free transfers this summer, tying Galbraith down is a sensible move which secures his future.
The length of the contract shows United have faith Galbraith can make it. A cautious move would just have been to give a short deal until 2022. Instead United have the ability to keep hold of him until 2024.
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