After the nation was finally hit with the realisation that football is not coming home this time around, fans will be desperately searching for their next football fix.
United fans should look no further than the Red’s pre-season USA tour.
Next Friday, Mourinho’s men will kick things off against Club America before travelling to Santa Clara to face the San Jose Earthquakes. The International Champions Cup will follow with the Reds set to face AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid, a set of fixtures that will be enough to get any stateside fan excited.
Due to the number of United first-team players that were and still are involved in the 2018 World Cup, Mourinho is likely to give some additional time off to certain players. There’s little doubt these will more than likely include the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, and England’s United stars.
This means several youth team players will be accompanying the first team all desperate to prove to Jose Mourinho why they deserve a role within the first-team this season.
One of the youngest United starlets could be Mason Greenwood. The 16-year-old forward scored 17 goals in 17 starts last season for the under-18s and has certainly made his mark on the team. Joining him could be midfielder James Garner, who enjoyed a successful first full year at under-18 level with 24 outings in all competitions and three goals. The England under-17 captain, along with Greenwood did not travel with the reserves and academy teams to their training camp in Austria so will more than likely be involved with the tour.
Joining the two youngsters could be Dutch international forward Tahith Chong. This year’s Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year winner, the 18-year old striker has hit the ground running but was struck down with a back injury in January that ruled him out for several months. However Chong has now made a full recovery and also did not fly out to Austria so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him turn out for the Reds this summer.
One name that could also make the squad is midfielder Angel Gomes. The England under-18 player has already made two substitution appearances for the first-team, most recently in the FA Cup against Yeovil Town, and will be looking to make an impact this season.
Another player that has already been called-up to the first-team in the past is RoShaun Williams. The 19-year-old defender was named on Louis Van Gaal’s bench back in 2016 and whilst injury has halted him recently, Williams has been able to cement his place in the under-21 team and is set to make a great return from fitness.
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Two more 19-year-old’s that look set to make Mourinho’s squad are midfielder Ethan Hamilton and Joshua Bohui. Hamilton, who was fast-tracked to the reserve team managed 22 appearances and even a first-team spot on the bench against Huddersfield earlier this year. Meanwhile Bohui, who joined the Reds from Brentford in 2016 is the Reserves’ first-choice attacker and he finished the season with 25 appearances and six goals.
Demetri Mitchell is the final tour hopeful, who made a first-team debut on the final day of the 2016/17 Premier League season. Not only is the defender a key figure in the reserve team but was also part of the England squad that on the under-17s European Championship in 2014.
Whilst many will be excited to see the old faithful United players, along with new signings Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant, the prospect of seeing some of United’s youth players step in as World Cup stars take an extra break to lick some wounds, or perhaps celebrate lifting football’s biggest prize, will be the true highlight of the tour.