Young prospect Deji Sotona has decided to leave Manchester United.

The MEN report Sotona turned down a three-year contract, and wants to try his luck elsewhere.

On the face of it, this is a disappointment for Manchester United.

Sotona, 17, was a very promising young player. His impressive play on the wing for the under-18s was eye-catching, and he recently started to get chances up front.

(Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images)

He led the line in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final, scoring against Wigan, and his final game for the under-18s saw him net two against Everton back in March.

Sotona also gained headlines last year when The Mail reported he clocked a faster time in speed tests than any first team player.

He has a raw ability that United were beginning to guide in a promising direction.

Temper that disappointment

While it is a shame Sotona has decided to leave, United have plenty other options in the academy.


On the wing his exit opens doors for Shola Shoretire, Noam Emeran and Omari Forson, among others.

Anthony Elanga is a stronger prospect, already shining for the under-23s.

Up front United have just signed Charlie McNeill, Alejandro Garnacho and Joe Hugill, while Dillon Hoogerwerf and Mateo Mejia are back from injuries.

Manchester United U18 Training Session
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

All of these options may have played a part in Sotona’s desire to leave, especially if he wants to develop as a striker.

That will happen from time to time, only the strongest will make it. The MEN reports Sotona is hoping for first team football, and at just 17, that was unlikely to come at United this season.

Sotona probably would have been better off waiting a year and then pushing for a loan move. But that’s his decision, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up next.

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