Manchester United’s youth academy is famous for producing professional footballers, regardless of whether they go on to play for United or not.
Di’Shon Bernard is set to add his name to the list after he signed for Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer.
— BigDish 🤘🏾 (@DishonBernard) July 31, 2023
Bernard was one of the players whose contract expired at the end of the 2022/23 season and wasn’t on the club’s retained list.
Bernard signed for United in 2017, having come through Chelsea’s youth academy in what was a highly-coveted capture.
Since then, he has had loan spells at Salford City, Hull City and Portsmouth.
Securing a move to a second-tier side is a great achievement for Bernard, as he spent the last season on loan at third-tier Portsmouth.
He made only 10 appearances, totalling just 644 minutes of football.
It was a far cry from his 2021/22 season when he played 26 games for Hull City in the Championship and his prospects at United looked bright at that stage.
Hull were even interested in a permanent move for the academy graduate but United ended up turning down that offer.
However, the player failed to kick on from the successful loan spell, most of which was down to an injury which struck him at the worst possible time. Instead, he had to be content with scattered appearances for the reserve side.
As a current Jamaican international, the 22-year-old centre-back has international experience which was valued highly by Wednesday.
Moreover, his performances with Hull City have shown that he is arguably a Championship-level player so securing him on a free transfer is a good bit of business by the club.
United have been keen to move on youth prospects opportunistically now to avoid a repeat of Bernard’s fate. The club could have gotten a good transfer fee for the player at the end of the 2021/22 season on loan at Hull.
Instead, he leaves as a free agent two years after that spell, having made one senior appearance in the Europa League against Astana in Kazakhstan in 2019.