Home » Manchester United’s latest midfield academy graduate labelled the new Claude Makelele

Manchester United’s latest midfield academy graduate labelled the new Claude Makelele

by Sam Peoples

Charni Ekangamene has been compared to Claude Makelele and admitted that he isn’t afraid to get stuck in when necessary

A tough tackling and energetic player, the 19-year-old received his first team squad number and is tipped to be the next Manchester United academy graduate to make an appearance under David Moyes following the rise of Adnan Januzaj.

Ekangamene has been a very reliable member of Warren Joyce’s Under-21s side over the past couple of years and has earned his squad number because of it, even though it was something he didn’t expect.

“The club sees similarities with myself and Makelele. I’m fairly technically savvy but I do not hesitate to ram when needed to get the ball in the stands.”

“I had to prepare very quickly because I was expected at the first team’s hotel [for the Aston Villa game]”, he told HLN.be.

“Assistant Phil Neville told me I was in the squad for the match against Aston Villa.

“I finally learned that I would be sitting in the stands, but I found it altogether a positive experience.

“Who can say that they have been through that? Full preparation for a Premier League match at my age.

“It doesn’t mean coach David Moyes is counting on me though. I haven’t even talked to him this season.”

At a time when United are in need of new leases of life in the midfield, Moyes is clearly keeping an eye on the progress of our youngsters to see if he can unearth another Januzaj – and he has seen something in Ekangamene.

This is all new territory for Ekangamene who hasn’t been part of the first team squad before and the likes of Robin van Persie and other first team players at United have helped him feel at home straight away.

He added: “[Robin] van Persie and the other stars know me.

“We eat together every day and we’re often joking with each other.

“So I don’t look up when I bump into [Ryan] Giggs or [Marouane] Fellaini.

“The club sees similarities with myself and Makelele. I’m fairly technically savvy but I do not hesitate to ram when needed to get the ball in the stands.”

A battler type midfielder like Makelele, often dubbed as the original ‘defensive midfielder’, is something that United lack and Ekangamene will be eager to show Moyes that he can live up to great expectations when he gets his chance to play in the first team.

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