3 Manchester United wonderkids from the past decade who flattered to deceive
Manchester United have always been a club who have encouraged youth. They have a flourishing academy that has given the senior team numerous star players and they have also invested heavily on unknown youngsters, which have paid off more often than not.
However, amidst all that, there were a fair share of players who failed to cut it at the senior level. Be it the step-up or the lack of game time, these youngsters failed to fulfil their potential and exited the club without much fanfare. Below we take a look at three such Manchester United players who showed glimpses of talent but ultimately failed.
1. Adnan Januzaj
Januzaj was supposed to be the next big thing for Manchester United. He did give that impression when he struck a brace on his debut in 2014. However, that would be two of his 5 goals for the club. An overstocked squad in the following season meant that Januzaj was not afforded a lot of minutes.
He went on two loan spells but none proved to be successful. Finally sold off in 2017 for £9m, he has been doing well at Real Sociedad. However, Januzaj will always be a case of ‘what could have been’.
2. Ravel Morrison
An outrageously talented midfielder in his teenage, Ravel Morrison was one of those exceptionally talented players to come out of the academy. Often touted to be a better player than his peers such as Paul Pogba, Morrison was tipped to go on to do great things. Ferguson regarded that he was one of the best talents he had seen.
Sadly, a lot of off-field problems meant that he never fulfilled what was expected of him. Since then, he has been a journeyman, playing at various clubs across Europe.
3. James Wilson
Another academy graduate of the ill-fated David Moyes era. Wilson had a debut to remember, with 2 goals against Hull City. He was among the players Ryan Giggs gave debuts to. However, with Louis Van Gaal coming in and adding to the number of forwards, it became difficult for Wilson to get first-team appearances.
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A procession of loan spells followed to the likes of Brighton, Derby County, Sheffield United and Aberdeen. Finally, Aberdeen signed him permanently last season. Still just 24, it’s hard to think that so much happened 6 years ago.