Largie Ramazani claims solitary appearance against Astana was lure to sign new Manchester United contract

Former Manchester United whizkid Largie Ramazani believes the Red Devils handed him a cameo appearance against Astana, in the Europa League, in an attempt to get him to sign a new contract.

The 21-year-old, who joined the twenty-time league champions’ academy in 2017 from Charlton Athletic, left Old Trafford as a free agent in the summer of 2020.

The young Belgian joined Spanish side Almeira later that summer, and he has established himself as a key part of their side.

Joined by fellow former Reds Arnau Puigmal and Martin Svidersky, Ramazani played an instrumental part in helping Almeria secure promotion to La Liga last season.

Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The pacey forward scored eight goals in the second tier of Spanish football last season, and he scored on his La Liga debut, netting against Champions League holders Real Madrid.

Ramazani has also scored against Alex Telles’ loan side Sevilla to help Almeria to their only win in La Liga so far.

Largie Ramazani claims solitary appearance against Astana was lure to sign new Manchester United contract

During the 2019-20 campaign, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave several United youngsters their senior debuts against Kazakhstan side Astana in the Europa League.

Ramazani came off the bench to replace James Garner in the 84th minute in what was his only first team appearance for the Red Devils.

At the time of making his United debut, which came in November 2019, Ramazani’s contract at the Theatre of Dreams was set to expire in June, and the youngster was seen as one of the club’s most promising talents.

But instead of penning new terms with United, Ramazani opted to continue his development with Almeira and pursue senior first team football.

In an interview with Gazet van Antwerpen, Almeria’s number seven claims that being handed his debut by Solskjaer may have been an attempt from United to try and convince him to sign a new contract.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ramazani said: “I was almost at the end of my contract, and I had a good season with the second team. Almost half of the reserves were allowed to go to Astana. I was even allowed to join.

“I did train a few times, but that would be the only time I could play with the senior team. Did they do that because I played a good season, and I could help the team? Or because they wanted me to extend my contract?

“Debuting for United is like a dream, and Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw but also Pogba and McTominay were very helpful for young players.

“But it didn’t convince me: I knew they’d loan me out if I signed up. I had Marcus Rashford in front of me, Daniel James, Tahith Chong. What was the point of playing another season with the reserves? So, I wanted to try elsewhere.”

Like fellow United prospect Angel Gomes, who is impressing with French giants Lille, Ramazani’s brave decision to opt against signing a new contract with United looks to reaping its rewards.

Fresh after his first call-up to the Belgium Under-21 side, Ramazani scored against France on Monday in his second appearance at that level.

From 50 games for United’s academy sides, Ramazani scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists, averaging a goal involvement in every other game.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.