Manchester United recently confirmed they will be returning to America for their pre-season tour and fans will be eager to see which youngsters Louis van Gaal takes with him. With this in mind, we had a look at three Man United prospects who could be given the chance to impress Stateside.
1. Ben Pearson
Pearson has received praise for his efforts on loan at Barnsley this season and rightly so.
The 20-year-old has established himself as an integral part of Lee Johnson’s side with the manager describing him as ‘the first name on the team sheet’ earlier this year.
Pearson is renowned for bringing tenacity and steel to the Barnsley side, and has been commended for his explosiveness from midfield. It is a quality which earned him the Man of the Match award on his debut for the Tykes.
If included in the tour squad, the former Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year will be looking to show that he is the solution to the lack of depth in United’s midfield. It is a big ask for him but there is no reason why he can’t impress.
Possessing a calmness and composure that belies his years, Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been a central figure in Paul McGuinness’ U18s side this term.
Since joining from Ajax for a fee of £300,000 last summer, the youngster has exuded confidence in the heart of United’s defence. Highly regarded by United’s coaches, the youngster was recently an unused substitute in the U21s 3-2 win against West Ham United.
Fosu-Mensah is currently the captain of the Netherland’s U17s side and has been praised for his versatility. Comfortable as a centre-back, right-back or defensive midfielder, Fosu-Mensah has a wide range of skills with his vision, determination and precision making him standout amongst other players his age.
Fosu-Mensah is making fantastic strides through the ranks and may well get an opportunity on the tour. For now though, he must concentrate on his own development. When he cements a starting role in Warren Joyce’s U21s side, he should gradually force his way into van Gaal’s thinking.
3. Joshua Harrop
Joshua Harrop is another player that Manchester United fans can get excited about. The youngster from Stockport has put in some excellent performances and will be hoping to force his way onto the pre-season tour.
Known for his skill and composure on the ball, Harrop is a flamboyant and often assertive player who is not scared to put in a tackle or roam from his position in order to contribute to other phases of play.
The young midfielder has earned a call up to Aidy Boothroyd’s England U20 squad following some impressive performances for United U21s. His clinical finishing, a particularly good aspect of his game, was on display in a recent win against West Ham where he scored a brace.
Harrop has shown massive improvements in all areas of his game this year and his awareness, vision and composure all noticeably better. Van Gaal would be wise to take notice.
Van Gaal may also need to blood new signings such as Memphis Depay in the States but all three youngsters can say that they deserve to be in the pre-season squad.
James Wilson, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett have made the step up over the course of this campaign and there is no reason why Pearson, Fosu-Mensah and Harrop cannot do the same in the years to come.