Not every Manchester United academy talent will develop into a Paul Scholes or David Beckham.

Some do go onto have very successful careers elsewhere, like Danny Drinkwater and Ryan Shawcross to name just a couple.

One young talent hoping to reach their levels of success is former United youngster Oliver Rathbone.

Rathbone was released by United in 2016 without playing a first team game for the club. He was a regular for the under-18s and also played for the under-21s.

League One success story

(Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Aged just 19 at the time, Rathbone was left facing an uncertain future in the game.

It is to his credit that he has established himself as a regular for League One side Rochdale after they took a chance on him.

Rathbone’s dad Mick was a professional footballer for Blackburn, Preston and Birmingham in the late 70s through to his retirement in 1995.

This will have helped Oliver not being phased by life away from United, and he was not daunted by having to swap the glitz of the world’s biggest club for the more modest Rochdale.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Now 22, Rathbone is in his third season for Rochdale. The diminutive midfielder racked up 75 appearances in his first two seasons and is rapidly approaching his 100th.

This season he has played 11 times already and scored four goals. This is particularly impressive seeing as he netted only three in his first two years combined.

Rochdale sit in 15th in League One at present.

( OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Some players drop out of football altogether within a couple of years of being released by top academies as they struggle to adjust to competitive action.

Rathbone is the opposite, he is thriving. He is only just getting started, and could one day rise back through the divisions.

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