Academy sensation Joe Hugill trained with Manchester United’s first team for the first time this week.

Hugill was one of the players called into the senior set up with several first team stars still missing due to extended international involvement and holidays.

Manchester United Training Session
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

It was a big vote of confidence from United’s coaches. Hugill was called up rather than academy teammate Charlie McNeill. This wasn’t surprising though. Hugill scored 10 of his 16 goals last season at under-23 level and McNeill has played mainly for the under-18s.

Hugill had a tremendous campaign [read more in our player season review] after signing from Sunderland. At just 17-years-old he is one of United’s best striker prospects.

Hugill looks more physically developed than he was when he arrived year ago. The Athletic reported earlier in 2021 that he has been put on a weights programme to bulk up. He is already a physically tall striker and when he fills out he will become a very difficult defender for opposing defenders to deal with.

This pre-season is going to be a great opportunity for Hugill to show what he is capable of against senior defenders.

It is very possible United consider sending Hugill out on loan, creating space in the under-23s for McNeill to start more regularly. This is his chance to show he can cut it.

Responses to Hugill’s message

United supporters were encouraged to see Hugill in first team training and responded to his message with words of encouragement. These kind of messages will give Hugill confidence to show what he is capable of as pre-season gets underway…

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