Jadon Sancho’s move to Borussia Dortmund as a teenager saw him act as a trailblazer for other young English players.
Angel Gomes is one who quit United to try his luck abroad, and Jude Bellingham snubbed United to join Dortmund. But the player after Sancho who has arguably had most success so far is Noni Madueke, 19.
Madueke quit Tottenham in 2019 to join PSV Eindhoven. After initially beginning in their academy side, the winger has become a key first team player for the Eredivisie challengers.
The Mail reported Manchester United were one of several sides to check Madueke out in action this week in the Champions League qualifiers, sending a scout to observe his performance.
Top prospect, little room at Old Trafford
Madueke has been touted as the ‘next Sancho’ with The Mail reporting he was on Dortmund’s list of replacements before they bought teammate Donyell Malen.
The teenager plays as a right winger and scored in PSV’s opening game of the Eredivisie season last weekend.
Last season he struck seven goals and provided four assists, from seven starts and a further 17 substitute appearances.
If a move for Sancho was not possible, then Madueke would have been the type of signing United should have considered as an alternative.
As it is, there is simply no room for the youngster at Old Trafford now with wing suddenly a position of real depth.
Amad and Facundo Pellistri were bought to bolster the position long term last season and even though this summer could end with both sent out on loan, the intention is that at least one of them will be ready to compete regularly next season.
So why scout him?
United’s scouting network is huge so it makes sense to keep tabs on players even in positions of strength.
Madueke is one of Europe’s young brightest talents so it makes sense to keep track of his progress even for future years ahead, and even consider whether he has the attributes to play for United in a different position, as a central playmaker or a striker.
But the scouting could have a more pragmatic nature. Madueke has also been linked with other Premier League clubs and it is possible he moves to one of them this transfer window or in the next.
As a potential opponent, United will want to be clued up on what he can offer and be ready to face him if need be.
It is also possible the reports are misinformed and United’s scouting attendance at Benfica v PSV this week was made with a very different target in mind.
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