Ashley Fletcher scored a 47 minute hat-trick for Manchester United’s Reserves last night in their 3-2 win over Rochdale in the Lancashire Senior Cup.
The 19-year-old’s clinical finishing in front of goal earned Man United the win over Rochdale and for Fletcher himself, it’s the perfect way for him to show United’s U21s boss Warren Joyce what he is capable of.
Fletcher will be playing U21s football this season and the progression of James Wilson, Tyler Blackett, Andreas Pereira and Paddy McNair will motivate him to know that youngsters are getting opportunities at the club.
With United’s current attacking options far from secure, Fletcher will be eyeing a chance from Louis van Gaal in the Capital One Cup games this season. If he can make the most of it, he could force his way into van Gaal’s thinking.
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Pereira is the perfect example of a player who has flourished under van Gaal. He’s become a first-team regular in training, has played for both the U20s and U23s Brazil sides and van Gaal has now identified him as Adnan Januzaj‘s likely replacement in the squad.
At a time where United are making so many signings every summer, there are still ample opportunities for the right youngsters and if Fletcher can keep banging in the goals for the youth teams, van Gaal could well give him a chance sooner rather than later.