Sam Mather reaches 20 goals and assists combined for Manchester United's academy in 2021/22

Manchester United fans keen to watch exciting and often winning football have increasingly turned to watching the youth teams in action this season.

United’s under-23s sit a respectable fourth in the table this season, which would be improvement on last season’s seventh placed finish, while the under-18s are also fourth with three games in hand.

The under-18s are also into the FA Youth Cup final, while the youngsters also reached the knockout stages of the UEFA Youth League before being eliminated on penalties.

There is little doubt that Alejandro Garnacho has been one of the brightest stars across the academy, he is the leading scorer for the 18s, netting five in five Youth Cup games, and also a winner for the under-23s at the weekend. But he could not have done it without the help of Sam Mather.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 09: Sam Mather of Manchester United U18s in action during the FA Youth Cup match between Manchester United U18s and Everton U18s at Old Trafford on February 09, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

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Garnacho’s development is great news for Argentina, who recently called him into their international squad. Mather could be an England star of the future.

At the weekend Mather provided an assist as Manchester United’s under-18s came from 2-0 down against Stoke to win 3-2.

This was his 12th assist of the season in all competitions, no Manchester United academy player has more.

Mather also has eight goals to his name too, making it a total of 20 goal contributions in 2021/22 at club level, with more to come too.

Mather has played a key role in helping United reach the FA Youth Cup final, scoring three goals in five games along the way, with two assists.

A win in the FA Youth Cup final would further consolidate Mather’s rising star status, but regardless, he has made his mark this season.

Mather’s performances have made him popular with his young Manchester United teammates, who left an array of messages on his Instagram page at the weekend.

His assist came for the matchwinner against Stoke injury time, playing a diagonal pass onto the head of Oyedele to score the winner.

Still only 17, Mather has been making an impact for England’s under-18s side too, scoring one and providing two assists.

Mather can play on either wing, featuring on both the left and right for United this season and occasionally through the middle too.

United have already pushed him forward to feature for the under-23s, where he has two starts and three substitute appearances to his name.

Mather has not quite made the same impact at 23 level as he has for the under-18s, and that is fine, he has plenty of time on his side and the purpose of United putting him in there is just to give him a taster for next season.

What the youngster has shown, is a tremendous aptitude to impact games and link up with his teammates, thanks to an impressive passing range.

United should be hopeful Mather has what it takes to eventually go on and push for first team contention in a couple of years time. This season has been a fantastic first step.

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