An additional group of youngsters were called into the Manchester United first team training sessions over the weekend.

Among them was exciting French centre-back Willy Kambwala, who is looking to set himself up for a strong 2023/24 season.

Kambwala was pictured training alongside first team stars, taking on Marcus Rashford in the session, and then running alongside him in a fitness drill.

Getting the chance to test himself up against senior players will sharpen Kambwala’s development and help his progression.

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Manchester United Pre-Season Training Session
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Willy Kambwala background

Manchester United signed Willy Kambwala in October 2021 on deadline day on the same date Amad and Facundo Pellistri deals went through.

Kambwala cost £3.6 million from Sochaux, where he arrived as highly rated France youth international captain.

He went straight into Manchester United’s under-18s side and enjoyed a terrific debut before being impacted by injury.

The past two seasons have been stop-start for Kambwala, who has so far made only six appearances at under-21 level.

Still only 18-years-old, the teenager will be looking to push on this season, stay injury free, and start fulfilling his vast potential.

Centre-back position opening

Manchester United may have a position opening at centre-back with Harry Maguire being strongly tipped to leave the club after being removed as club captain.

One option is for Manchester United to sign a new defender, but this would also negate the benefit of the fee Maguire’s sale would bring. It still may be necessary.

The other consideration is that one of Manchester United’s academy players makes the breakthrough. Rhys Bennett, the 2022 FA Youth Cup winning captain, is at the front of the queue.

Teden Mengi has faded from view due to injuries but cannot be totally discounted, while Kambwala would like to get into the mix too.

These early days of pre-season are a chance for him to catch the attention of the coaching staff, and start to build from there.

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