Manchester United’s Charlie McNeill has been in incredible form this season.
The 17-year-old has scored 24 goals in just 21 U18 appearances this season. And it would be no surprise if he was permanently promoted to the U23s sooner rather than later, despite his tender age.
McNeill has outstanding ability, but United fans will be wary of pushing for his inclusion in the first-team too soon. Yet there is a sensible middle-ground Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should seriously consider.
Edinson Cavani has been touted as the master to Mason Greenwood’s apprentice. But the Uruguayan could be the ideal tutor to another United forward, too.
McNeill is one of United’s most exciting young strikers in years. His quality in front of goal for the youth teams suggests he could be every bit as good as Greenwood in the years ahead. But he has plenty to learn and Cavani is a better teacher than most.
United’s in-form man has committed to the Red Devils for another year. But at 34, and with a return to his homeland long mooted, this could be the last year for Cavani to teach the club’s next generation.
That chance to play up close with one of the world’s best ever strikers is one McNeill would surely jump at.
Priceless lessons on the training field
Solskjaer was a wonderful forward in his day. But there is only so much he can teach from the side-lines.
In contrast, Cavani can show the next generation first-hand. He can give them a glimpse behind the curtain and McNeill should be in line to benefit from that.
Training with Cavani next season would be priceless for the United teenager. Greenwood is already improving alongside his experienced teammate and McNeill could benefit, albeit behind the scenes.
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The training field would allow McNeill to make mistakes away from the spotlight. He could also then return to United’s U18s or U23s with additional strings to his bow.
Cavani won’t be at Old Trafford for much longer. While he is, one of the club’s brightest young talents should embrace every second he gets in his company.