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Manchester United’s Academy Presence Continues To Grow Under Erik ten Hag

Manchester United have had nine academy graduates in their last two matchday squads, as the academy presence around the first team continues to grow under Erik ten Hag. Five graduates started in the victory against Everton at the weekend at Old Trafford, with a further four players on the bench. One of those made an appearance in the game, with 19-year-old Willy Kambwala coming on for his sixth appearance of the season.

The next new academy player that features for Erik ten Hag will be the 250th to play for the first team at Manchester United. Omari Forson was the 249th back in December against Wigan, and it does not seem like it will be long until the Dutchman gives a debut to another to reach the historic 250 mark.

United have now named an academy player in a matchday squad for the last 4,237 games, a record dating back to October 1937. It’s quite an astonishing record to look back on for the club, and there is a growing feeling, considering the brilliant work being done behind the scenes by the current academy staff, that it’s something that will continue for a long time to come.

Academy Products Per Match Day This Season:

Team Academy PlayersMinutes PlayedGoal/ Assist
Wolverhampton WanderersRashford, Garnacho, McTominay, HendersonGarnacho (68), Rashford (88), McTominay (10)
Tottenham HotspurRashford, Garnacho, McTominay, Henderson, VitekRashford (85), Garnacho (69)
Nottingham ForestRashford, Garnacho, McTominay, Fernandez, Gore, HendersonRashford (104), McTominay (19), Rashford Assist
ArsenalRashford, Garnacho, McTominay, Hannibal, Gore, EvansRashford (101), Evans (17), Garnacho (17)Rashford Goal
BrightonRashford, Garnacho, Evans, Gore, Hannibal, McTominayRashford (97), McTominay (85), Hannibal (31),
Garnacho (13)
Hannibal Goal
Bayern MunichRashford, McTominay, Garnacho, Heaton, Vitek, Evans, Gore, Hannibal, ForsonRashford (96), McTominay (27), Garnacho (15)Rashford Assist
BurnleyRashford, Hannibal, McTominay, Evans, Gore, GarnachoRashford (95), Hannibal (95), McTominay (95), Evans (89)Evans Assist
Crystal PalaceGarnacho, Hannibal, Evans, Gore, Heaton, Rashford, Garnacho (94), Hannibal (71), Evans (33), Gore (33)Garnacho Goal
Crystal PalaceRashford, Garnacho, Evans, McTominay, HannibalRashford (77), Garnacho (34)
GalatasarayHannibal, Rashford, Garnacho, Vitek, Evans, McTominayHannibal (45), Rashford (67), Garnacho (31)Rashford Assist
BrentfordEvans, Rashford, Garnacho, McTominay, HannibalEvans (98), Rashford (63), Garnacho (36), McTominay (15)McTominay (2)
Sheffield UnitedEvans, McTominay, Rashford, Garnacho, HannibalRashford (88), McTominay (63), Evans (84), Garnacho (31)McTominay Goal
CopenhagenRashford, McTominay, Garnacho, Heaton, Evans, HannibalRashford (97), McTominay (97), Garnacho (34)
Manchester CityEvans, McTominay, Rashford, Garnacho, Mainoo, HannibalEvans (97), McTominay (97), Rashford (86), Garnacho (24)
Newcastle UnitedHannibal, Garnacho, Rashford, Evans, McTominayHannibal (65), Garnacho (65), Rashford (29)
FulhamGarnacho, McTominay, Evans, Mainoo, HannibalGarnacho (90), McTominay (98), Evans (98)
CopenhagenGarnacho, Rashford, McTominay, Evans, Heaton, Hannibal, ForsonGarnacho (96), Evans (15), Rashford (42), McTominay (96)McTominay (A), Garnacho (A)
Luton TownMcTominay, Rashford, Garnacho, Mainoo, HannibalRashford (99), Garnacho (68), McTominay (99)
EvertonGarnacho, Rashford, Mainoo, McTominay, Hannibal, HugillRashford (96), Garnacho (72), Mainoo (72), McTominay (96), Hannibal (12)Garnacho (G), Rashford (G)
GalatasarayGarnacho, McTominay, Mainoo, Heaton, Gore, Hannibal, HugillGarnacho (77), McTominay (93), Mainoo (35)Garnacho (G), McTominay (G)
Newcastle UnitedGarnacho, Rashford, Mainoo, McTominayGarnacho (100), McTominay (100), Rashford (61),
Mainoo (80)
ChelseaMcTominay, Garnacho, Rashford, Evans, MainooMcTominay (95), Garnacho (90), Rashford (11),
Evans (5)
McTominay
(G, X2)
Garnacho (A)
BournemouthMcTominay, Garnacho, Evans, Rashford, MainooMcTominay (97), Garnacho (79), Evans (18),
Rashford (18)
Bayern MunichMcTominay, Garnacho, Evans, Hannibal, Mainoo, Heaton, Gore, HugillMcTominay (95), Garnacho (75), Evans (65), Hannibal (20), Mainoo (15)
LiverpoolEvans, Mainoo, Garnacho, McTominay, Rashford, Hannibal, Kambwala, GoreEvans (96), McTominay (96), Garnacho (71), Rashford (25), Hannibal (14)
West HamKambwala, Evans, McTominay, Mainoo, Garnacho, Rashford, Bennett, HannibalKambwala (84), Evans (97), McTominay (97), Mainoo (97), Garnacho (85), Rashford (40)
Aston VillaGarnacho, Evans, Rashford, Mainoo, McTominay, Kambwala, Gore, HannibalGarnacho (90), Rashford (80), Evans (100), Mainoo (81), McTominay (19), Kambwala (11), Gore (2), Hannibal (2)Garnacho (G, X2) Rashford (A)
Nottingham ForestEvans, Rashford, Garnacho, Mainoo, McTominay, Kambwala, Gore, HannibalEvans (101), Rashford (101), Garnacho (101), Mainoo (45), McTominay (56)Rashford (G), Garnacho (A)
Wigan AthleticRashford, Garnacho, Mainoo, Evans, Kambwala, Hannibal, Forson, Heaton, Bennett, Shoretire, HugillRashford (90), Garnacho (87), McTominay (95), Mainoo (95), Evans (95), Kambwala (13), Hannibal (2), Forson (2)Rashford (A)
Tottenham HotspurEvans, Rashford, Garnacho, Mainoo, McTominay, Heaton, Kambwala, ForsonEvans (63), Mainoo (96), Garnacho (96), Rashford (88), McTominay (38)Rashford (G)
Newport CountyGarnacho, McTominay, Kambwala, Forson, Evans, HeatonGarnacho (99), Mainoo (99), McTominay (19), Kambwala (18), Forson (11), Evans (5)Mainoo (G)
Wolverhampton WanderersRashford, Mainoo, Garnacho, McTominay, Forson, Evans, KambwalaRashford (73), Garnacho (92), Mainoo (102), Forson (16), Evans (10)Rashford (G), McTominay (G), Forson (A),
Mainoo (G)
West HamMainoo, Rashford, Garnacho, McTominay, ForsonGarnacho (96), Rashford (96), Mainoo (64), McTominay (32)Garnacho (G, X2)
Aston VillaRashford, Mainoo, Garnacho, McTominay, Evans, ForsonGarnacho (97), Rashford (73), Mainoo (92), Evans (5)McTominay (G)
Luton TownRashford, Mainoo, Garnacho, Evans, McTominay, ForsonRashford (95), Garnacho (95), Mainoo (95), Evans (50), McTominay (50)Garnacho (A)
FulhamMainoo, Forson, Garnacho, Rashford, McTominay, Evans, Kambwala, CollyerMainoo (80), Forson (53), Garnacho (101), Rashford (101), McTominay (48)
Nottingham ForestGarnacho, Rashford, McTominay, Mainoo, Evans, Kambwala, Ogunneye, Collyer, ForsonRashford (100), Garnacho (100), McTominay (94), Mainoo (6), Evans (6)
Manchester CityRashford, Garnacho, Mainoo, Evans, Kambwala, Forson, Ogunneye, Collyer, McTominayGarnacho (82), Rashford (75), Mainoo (82), McTominay (98), Kambwala (29), Forson (16)Rashford (G)
EvertonEvans, Mainoo, Rashford, Garnacho, McTominay, Kambwala, Mee, Ogunneye, CollyerEvans (89), Garnacho (83), Rashford (95), McTominay (95), Kambwala (6)Garnacho (A, X2)
Rashford (G)

There has been quite an astonishing amount of academy involvement under Erik ten Hag’s guidance this season, as United named five or more academy players in a matchday squad in 37 of their 39 games in all competitions. Within those 39 games, an academy player has either scored or assisted in 24. Erik ten Hag has given three debuts this season, to Willy Kambwala, Omari Forson, and Dan Gore, and has also integrated Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo into the squad on a full-time basis.

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United have had 9 academy players either in the first team or on the bench for the last two Premier League fixtures against Manchester City and Everton, while also having nine on the bench against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. In total, the academy players have played a combined 10,399 minutes so far this season, with Alejandro Garnacho leading the way with 2,496 minutes accumulated in all competitions.

Number 250:

As previously mentioned, the next player to make their debut will be the 250th in the club’s history, and the most likely candidates at this moment are Habeeb Ogunneye and Toby Collyer. The latter was out warming up in United’s last game against Everton at Old Trafford and is highly rated internally at the club after he was signed from Brighton in March of 2022.

Habeeb Ogunneye is equally lauded inside the club, and given United’s troubles at full-back this season, there is a chance he could get the nod and be the 250th debutant for the club. There may be opportunities next week against Liverpool in the FA Cup for both, in what could be a truly historic moment for everyone involved with the football club, particularly the academy staff.

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