What happened to Manchester United's last FA Youth Cup semi-final XI
Manchester United’s under-18s side will be involved in a FA Youth Cup semi-final this week. United have home advantage against Wolves for Wednesday’s clash.
Stars like Alejandro Garnacho, Sam Mather and Charlie McNeill are all hoping to take United to the final, which will also be held at Old Trafford.
United last won the FA Youth Cup in 2011, and have not reached the final since, falling at the semi-final hurdle on two occasions.
The most recent came in 2020, with United’s run to the semis interrupted by the Covid lockdown and the game played a full eight months after the quarter-final.
United lost the match 1-0 to Chelsea, who went onto lose the final 3-2 to Manchester City. Despite the defeat, several of the players have gone on to represent the first team, while others have left the club.
What happened to United’s 2020 Youth Cup semi-finalists
Here is a look at what has happened to United’s players who last reached the FA Youth Cup semi-final…
- GK: Ondrej Mastny: Mastny remains at United and has gone onto make 13 appearances for the under-23s.
- RB: Lukasz Bejger: Bejger was sold by United in 2021 to Polish side Śląsk Wrocław. He has made 28 first team appearances and represents Poland at under-21 level.
- CB: Will Fish: Fish made his United debut at the end of last season. After a loan at Stockport, he is back with the under-23s.
- CB: Teden Mengi: Mengi had already made his first team debut before the Youth Cup semi-final. He has made one since, and has undertaken loan spells at Derby County and Birmingham City.
- LB: Reece Devine: Devine played Europa League qualifiers on loan at St Johnstone, and is currently on loan at Walsall.
- CM: Charlie McCann: After a promising under-23 campaign last season, McCann signed for Rangers in the summer, where he has one first team appearance.
- CM: Martin Svidersky: The Slovakia under-19 international has gone onto make 27 under-23 appearances, but has not been able to crack the first team yet.
- CM: Mark Helm: Mark Helm was released last summer and has since gone onto sign for Burnley, where he has made the first team bench.
- AM: Shola Shoretire: Shola Shoretire became United’s seventh youngest ever player a year ago. He has since gone onto make a total of four first team appearances, and is still only 18.
- AM: Hannibal Mejbri: Hannibal is on the verge of United’s first team, recently called up to the bench. He made his debut a year ago. He has also made 11 international appearances for Tunisia.
- CF: Anthony Elanga: This season Anthony Elanga has become a first team star, netting in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid. He now has 18 first team appearances.
Youth Cup is a platform for future success
It is quite impressive that of the 11 starters, five have made their first team debuts, Will Fish, Teden Mengi, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal, and Anthony Elanga.
This shows United will give opportunities to academy players, and while only Elanga is currently a regular, the door is still open for the others to join him, and Hannibal is very close.
If United’s 2022 side can go a couple of steps further, by reaching the final and even winning it, the club will no doubt pay even more attention to this generation’s crop of players, and really focus on finding pathways for them to reach the first team.
Not all of them can make it, but this competition is a real platform for the top talents to show what they are capable of, and United have several who have the talent to go on and reach the very top.