Two or three Manchester United youngsters could be promoted to first team squad

Ralf Rangnick believes ‘two or three’ academy talents could be permanently promoted to the Manchester United squad next season.

Anthony Elanga broke into the first-team on Rangnick’s watch and scored crucial goals against Brentford, Leeds and Atletico Madrid this calendar year, earning the 19-year-old his first call-up to the Sweden national team in March.

Hannibal Mejbri, also 19, made his second appearance for the club as a late substitute at Liverpool last month and the 17-year-old Argentinian Alejandro Garnacho came on for his debut against Chelsea two weeks before scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup final win over Nottingham Forest.

READ MORE: Rangnick and Ten Hag hold talks

Left-back Alvaro Fernandez, 19, has been included in the last three Premier League matchday squads and could make his debut at Crystal Palace on Sunday, having been named the Under-23 player of the year.

Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal emerged for their debuts in Rangnick’s second game in charge against Young Boys in December and Savage signed a new contract this week after training with the first-team.

“Obviously not all of them,” Rangnick replied when asked if the youngsters he has trained could move into the first-team. “There might be one or two, or maybe even three, where it makes sense to have them in pre-season so that they can also show to Erik [ten Hag] if they are already ready to play.

“On the other hand, for an 18 or 19-year-old just to be here, to be part of the squad and not get enough game-time, then it might make sense to go on loan somewhere, like [James] Garner did at Nottingham Forest or quite a few other players did with other clubs. This could also be an option.

“But yes, there are a few talented players. Hannibal has already been given his debut, so did Garnacho. But again it’s also about game-time, especially for those young talented players, they need to play on the highest possible level regularly.

“It’s not only about training on the high level like here, like they could do here, but they also need to play at the highest possible level.”


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