Both Nick Powell (back row, second from left) and the mercurial James Wilson (back row, third from left) were pictured sitting with the first team members during Manchester United’s match against Valencia.
It’s great to see the youngsters travelling as part of the match day squad and being treated like first-team players because that transition is so important for their career progression.
Things are looking quite bright for the youngsters at the moment as Louis van Gaal will give any player a run in the first team irrespective of his age if he proves himself.
With the Premier League just around the corner coming at a time where United’s already thin squad is hit by some injuries, youngsters like Reece James, Michael Keane and Tyler Blackett might get a few chances to stake their claim on a first team spot.
As for Powell, he is yet to play under Van Gaal. The 20-year-old was supposed to join up with the squad for the ICC game against Roma according to Jamie Jackson but for whatever reason, he didn’t.
Powell, who was touted to make it as a central midfielder at United by Sir Alex and Dario Gradi a couple of years back, hasn’t really had a continuous run of games in that position at any level at United due to injuries but he could get that chance now.
As for Wilson, he’s following in the footsteps of Adnan Januzaj last year and Van Gaal should love the 18-year-old’s style of play. Given a chance, he will take it with both hands as he already proved on his debut when he scored a brace against Hull City.
Another point to note is the absence of Will Keane and Wilfried Zaha.