Man Utd ace ‘called up by Ten Hag’ for training days after turning 15

Ten Hag previews Man Utd’s Premier League match against Aston Villa

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has called up a 15-year-old academy prospect to join first-team training ahead of this weekend’s game against Aston Villa, according to reports. The Red Devils will be hoping to return to winning ways at Old Trafford on Sunday after drawing with Tottenham last time around as they look to consolidate their position in the Premier League’s top four with just seven matches left to play.

United’s first-team stars have been training at their Carrington base as usual this week but were joined by a new face on Friday in teenage starlet Amir Ibragimov, according to Red Devils academy reporter jb8521. The academy forward, who celebrated his 15th birthday earlier this month, also posted on Instagram to seemingly confirm that he was involved in the session just two days before United are set to face Villa at home in the Premier League.

Ibragimov, who hails from the Russian republic of Dagestan, is held in high regard by those at Old Trafford and has played for United at under-18 level as well as featuring in their under-16 squad over the last few months. He garnered national attention in March of last year when he deliberately passed the ball to the opposing goalkeeper while taking a penalty against Tottenham as he did not believe that he had been fouled.

The young striker penned a pre-scholarship deal with United last September and seems to be turning plenty of heads with his performances for their academy sides, which played a big part in earning him a call-up to first-team training on Friday. It remains to be seen whether he will feature in the matchday squad to face Villa on Sunday, though, with Ten Hag unlikely to take many significant risks in his team selection given the need to pick up as many points as possible between now and the end of the season.

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The Red Devils will be desperate to claim a much-needed victory against Villa in order to fuel their hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s top four, although Ten Hag insisted on Thursday that he is equally keen to focus on winning the FA Cup when his side take on Manchester City in the final at Wembley next month.

“I think as Manchester United and as a top team, then you have to compete and go for the win in every competition you are in,” said the United boss. “So that’s what we are doing and that is the culture we want to create and to construct.

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“That is what we are doing, so that has to be in the mindset of every player and every employee who is working for Manchester United.”

Ten Hag also delivered a positive update on the fitness of United winger Alejandro Garnacho, who signed a new contract with the Red Devils earlier this week, by revealing: “He will return tomorrow [Friday] in the team training part and then we have to see when he can return totally in the team training and then back into games.”

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