Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 16 teenagers for the first time during his tenure at Manchester United.
Notably, this stands well against every single one of his predecessor’s records of offering talented youngsters opportunities at United with the first team. Mason GreenwoodBrandon Williams, Shula Schretter, Anthony Ilanga, and Hannibal Majbri.
Schreiter, Ilanga and Hannibal were the latest academy graduates to make their team debut last season and their performances have already sparked excitement among United fans on social media keen to follow their progress.
One of the names Solskjaer was responsible for delivering the team’s debut has been forgotten De Mane Mellor, though, but the 20-year-old is still very clear in the United boss’ thoughts – Mellor was pictured at United’s first training session under Solskjaer last week.
After fully returning from a serious ACL knee injury he sustained in November – Mellor admitted at the time he was facing a “long recovery” ahead – the youngster was seen at Carrington, exchanging jokes with Jesse Lingad and other first-team stars.
While Mellor is clearly a popular character in UnitedIt was his ability on the pitch that sealed his reputation as one of the academy’s brightest prospects and earned him an extension to his United contract despite just coming back from injury.
Although United have multiple attacking players like Mellor, who are creative, technically exceptional and versatile in position, there is reason to believe he could play for the first team for the first time since November 2019 this term.
After Mellor made his debut in United’s 2-1 defeat away to Astana in the Europa League, Solskjaer Reds youth student They were “knocking on the door” of the first team, and after returning from injury, the young man’s task is to ring the bell to attract attention.
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Solskjaer has shown he’s not afraid to give youngsters a chance, and when you think about it Anthony Martial Performance against Southampton for example, it is not impossible to think of the possibility of promoting Mellor to the first team.
That would save United millions if they eventually decided to replace the Frenchman.
Mellor faces competition from fellow academy graduates if he turns up such an opening in the first team, but his academy record was even better – scoring four goals and making six assists from 14 games for United’s Under-23s before injury.
Throwing the dice with Mellor could save United millions, and history suggests Solskjaer may be willing to gamble.