Man Utd have three wonderkids who could join Ralf Rangnick’s squad in 2022

Manchester United v Wolves: Match in pictures

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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick might turn to the club’s academy for some fresh impetus if his senior stars continue to underperform. The German suffered the first defeat of his interim reign on Monday. 

Wolves earned their first victory at Old Trafford in over 40 years against a lacklustre United side.  

The Red Devils’ attack appeared disjointed and managed just two shots on target. One of those was in the final minute of the game.  

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal for the visitors, and it was a result that had been coming following some underwhelming displays by Rangnick’s side.  

They had previously been unbeaten but were unconvincing in successive 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich. Newcastle deserved three points in the 1-1 draw at St James’ Park just after Christmas.  

Only in the 3-1 victory over Burnley have United been dominant against an opponent under the former RB Leipzig tactician.  

Express Sport picks out three young stars who Rangnick could now turn to. 

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Zidane Iqbal 

The 18-year-old became the first British-South Asian player to represent United when he replaced Jesse Lingard for the final minute of the club’s final Champions League group stage clash with Young Boys.  

A creative midfielder, he could certainly add something different to a United side who have at times seemed a bit stale under Rangnick and previous boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.  

Iqbal’s former Sunday League coach Stewart Hamer told MEN: “He had a great attitude, he was always willing to learn and he played with a big smile on his face. 

“He was quite happy to do whatever we challenged him to do. 

“Everyone took their part in being a goalkeeper, for example, and he’d take his part in the net just like everyone else.”

Charlie McNeill

 

He started his youth career at Liverpool before joining United in 2011. The 18-year-old then moved to rivals Manchester City three years later.  

Having switched back to the red side of Manchester in 2020, the move appears to have worked out well. 

He enjoyed a staggering goal record of 26 in 24 matches for the club’s U18 side, according to Transfermarkt. McNeill has since become a key member of the U23 team.  

Some supporters have called for the player to be rewarded with first-team minutes but that has been hard when there are several forwards ahead of him at the club, including Cristiano Ronaldo.  

But when the season enters its final weeks, there would be no harm in McNeill being handed a debut. 

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Joe Hugill 

The 18-year-old striker was signed alongside team-mate Logan Pye in a double swoop from Sunderland’s academy in the summer of 2020.  

Like McNeill, Hugill is a prolific attacker. He scored nine goals in seven U18 appearances before being promoted to the U23 side.  

The Durham-born starlet has 11 goals in 29 matches for the U23s.  

He is yet to make a matchday squad for the senior team but his goalscoring exploits at youth level might make him difficult to ignore. 

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