David Moyes has always spoken of his desire to keep the tradition of giving opportunities to young players going strong at Manchester United.
He stated a desire to ‘introduce young players and look to the Academy to see what we can bring through from the youth’, something he has followed through so far with Adnan Januzaj and now a few others.
Charni Ekangamene was given squad No. 43 and a spot on the bus ahead of United’s trip to Aston Villa on 15 December but the latest beneficiaries of Moyes’ policy are Joe Rothwell and Larnell Cole, who travelled with the squad for the game against Norwich.
Cole, who already has a first team squad number (34), is a young midfielder can play anywhere across the middle of the park but predominantly plays on the right for the Under-21s. He was an integral part of the squad that won last season’s Premier League title as he scored crucial goals, including a hat-trick in the semi-final against Liverpool and a brace in the final against Tottenham. He was also part of England’s squad for the Under-20 World Cup during the summer.
Joe Rothwell is another great midfield prospect. He had an injury plagued season with the Under-18s last year but has come back this season showing impressive form in both the Under-19 Youth League campaign and at Under-21 level. It’s this form which is not only catching the eyes of the supporters but also of the coaches. The 18-year-old also may have worked his way into contention for a spot in Noel Blake’s Under-19 squad for the European Championships in the summer.
It’s great that Moyes is not only keeping an eye on the youngsters when they play in our youth teams and away on loan but also lets them know that they’re in his plans by including them in the travelling squads for first team games.