New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has a proven track record working with young players at Ajax, helping the careers of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.

United director of football John Murtough cited this in the club announcement, praising Ten Hag as among the “most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.”

Luckily for Ten Hag, he is walking into a club which may be a mess, but the academy certainly is not. The youth ranks are blessed with talent, with the under-18s into the FA Youth Cup final.

So we have taken a look at which seven young players may benefit the most from working with the new manager…

Alejandro Garnacho

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Alejandro Garnacho is one of those special players who might just break through no matter who the manager is. Ten Hag in particular should love him.

Garnacho is quick, direct, has a great temperament, and is already part of the matchdays squads at just 17-years-old.

Ralf Rangnick knows how to spot a player and his approval of Garnacho speaks volumes. The teenager has scored 16 goals this season at academy level, including five in the FA Youth Cup to fire the team into the final.


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Hannibal made a late impact against Liverpool in midweek, with Bryan Robson praising his performance.

The Tunisian is a player with personality, and he has a staggeringly good passing range. He already has 11 international caps at just 19-years-old.

Like Garnacho, Hannibal is simply too good to be held back, and Ten Hag should enjoy working with him.

James Garner

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James Garner has proven his quality this season for Nottingham Forest on loan and he could become a vital part of United’s midfield jigsaw.

There is a chance he gets sent out on loan again if Forest win promotion, but Ten Hag will get the final say.

If the new boss takes an immediate liking to him, then Garner could end up becoming a regular in the first team next season.

Shola Shoretire

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Shola Shoretire is another player who could end up on loan, or breaking into Ten Hag’s first team in his first season.

This season he has been really productive at academy level, scoring nine goals and providing 11 assists.

It would not be a surprise to see him star in pre-season and elevate himself into Ten Hag’s plans for 2022/23 and beyond.

Facundo Pellistri

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Facundo Pellistri is good enough to be a regular in Uruguay’s international team and he should get a shot at Manchester United despite his Alaves struggles.

Pellistri impressed in pre-season last year and it will be fascinating to see how he can adapt under Ten Hag, who has had success working with South American talents at Ajax.

Alvaro Fernandez

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Full-backs are key to Erik ten Hag’s system and it is very possible young Spaniard Alvaro Fernandez gets a shot. He has eight assists this season for the academy.

Fernandez has recently been training with United’s first team and he could get first team opportunities before the season ends with Luke Shaw out injured.

Marc Jurado

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Young right-back Marc Jurado could be in line for an opportunity too, given United’s problems at the position, with neither Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Diogo Dalot convincing.

Jurado has been impressive during the FA Youth Cup run and the former Barcelona talent has also featured at centre-back and midfield during the under-18s campaign this season, showing an impressive versatility which Ten Hag could harness.

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