Mason Greenwood scored 17 goals in his breakthrough season at Manchester United and looks set for a glittering career.
He already has a chance to become one of United’s best ever players to come through the academy.
But not every academy player can go onto become a first team star. In fact Greenwood is the exception.
United released 10 players in the summer, and Ben Hockenhull and Deji Sotona have both subsequently left the club.
FourFourTwo previously reported that just 0.5 per cent of players in England’s football academies go on to make it as professionals. It is a scarily low figure for aspiring youngsters.
This is why Kieran O’Hara’s recent move to League One side Burton Albion should be celebrated where United are concerned.
O’Hara was one of the players released by United in the summer. He will accept it was overdue.
The 24-year-old was sixth or seventh choice goalkeeper at United, and he never had a look in.
He leaves the club without a single appearance, and with his contract run down, United did not get a fee for him.
Despite this, O’Hara is a success story for United. He is one of the small percentage of players who do go on to become professionals.
O’Hara is a Republic of Ireland international, and through loan spells, has 75 Football League appearances to his name.
He looks set for a solid career, which may one day lead him to the Premier League if he can kick on now he has found a permanent club, landing a two year deal at Burton.
O’Hara’s journey is a successful one. He is not getting the opportunity Dean Henderson is, but his time in United’s academy has set him up for a career in professional football, and that’s credit to the club’s coaching staff.
The 10 players released by Manchester United on June 30, 2020
- Aidan Barlow
Without a club
- Angel Gomes
Lille on loan at Boavista
- Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
- Alex Fojticek
- Ethan Hamilton
- Dion McGhee
- Demetri Mitchell
- Kieran O’Hara
- Largie Ramazani
- George Tanner
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