Man Utd currently have the 8th youngest squad in the Premier League. Hardly a headline-worthy stat, but with an average age of 26.6, compared to City’s 28.4, and a mix of established top-level players still with their best years ahead of them, plus some tantalizingly promising prospects, the future looks undeniably bright for the Reds. We might not be the freshest tactical outfit in the league, as Jonathan Wilson argued in his recent piece contrasting an old-feeling Mourinho with the energised hyper-modernity of Jurgen Klopp, but we have a fantastic mix of young players in the squad, and that’s something that should give any United fan cause for optimism.
The Foundations for a Decade of Success
In David De Gea (25 years old), we surely have one of the top 3 keepers in the world. Eric Bailly (22) has instantly cemented his place in our first eleven, and Luke Shaw (21) has already shown more than enough to show he can realise the potential we paid for. All three of these players should have at least 10 years at the top ahead of them.
With Timothy Fosu Mensah (18) and Axel Tuanzebe (18) showing plenty of promise in the RB and CB positions respectively, this defensive 5 could be the backbone of great success for the next decade and beyond.
We Already Have Some of the Best Young Players in the World, and Might Just Add One More
If United lined up in January with that back 5, with Pogba (23) and Herrera (27) in front of them, Marital (20), Mkhitaryan (27), Rashford (18) and maybe Griezmann (25), we’d have a starting 11 with an average age of just 22 – well below the current youngest squad in the EPL, Tottenham, who have an average age of 25.1.
In my opinion, that’s a squad that has the look of champions, not just of England, but of Europe, especially if these younger players fulfill the potential they have already shown.
Over to You, Jose
I hope the initial signs that Jose is willing to trust youth prove to be the harbingers of a longer-term trend, as this group of young players has the potential to grow together and really feel part of something very special. The future is bright, the future is Red.