Manchester United academy star Joe Hugill has been ruled out for a couple of months after sustaining an ankle injury whilst training at Forest Green Rovers.
Following the appointment of Justin Cochrane, who joined the club as head of academy player development in the summer, United are sending academy players to Football League clubs for ‘short stints’ to get the ‘Pro Experience’.
Instead of sanctioning loan deals, the club is instead allowing some of the club’s best academy prospects to train with senior players.
According to the Athletic, several players in Neil Wood’s under-23 squad have spent a week away to get a better understanding of the professional game.
Hugill and Charlie Wellens had time time together at Forest Green. Charile McNeil, who has scored in each of his last four matches, and Dillon Hoogewerf went to Sheffield Wednesday, and Rhys Bennett and Dermot Mee were taken in by Wimbledon.
All the players trained with their selected sides and some reportedly even travelled with the matchday squad, got a feel of the dressing room, and did the warm up.
This is expected to be something Manchester United continue to roll out to more academy prospects.
The club believes that ‘players gain an insight into senior football in between transfer windows, without the commitment of a full loan’.
This is also strengthening United’s relationship with several Football League clubs, which could benefit both parties in the future.
However, during his time with League Two side, Forest Green, 18-year-old Hugill picked up an ankle injury on his final day at Rovers, which is predicted to keep him out for a ‘couple of months’.
The man, who came through the ranks at Sunderland before moving to United last summer, has five goals from 12 academy games this season.
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