Six academy prospects Man Utd fans will see at Old Trafford for years to come

Should Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer look to bolster his first-team squad with youngsters over the hectic Christmas period in the Premier League – he won't be short of options.

With United's Under-18s sitting third in the Premier League u18 North section, and their Under-23s winning three of their last five fixtures, their form is substantially better than their senior counterparts.

Although Solskjaer has been cautious when handing young stars regular first-team appearances since taking over from Jose Mourinho in 2018, he is in desperate need of a boost.

Daily Star Sport has taken a look at six of the top young prospects that could be available for Premier League action this season, including a prolific former Manchester City hopeful.

Hannibal Mejbri

Already a full international with Tunisia, Hannibal Mejbri made his Premier League debut against Wolves on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign.

The 18-year-old brings a composed presence to midfield at youth level, and has leadership qualities that could help his progression into the first-team.

The former Monaco youngster looked confident and comfortable around the senior stars according to Solskjaer, who is expecting a steady improvement.

He said: “Of course, you drip-feed them in and you don’t expect them to set the world alight. But you want to see them in this environment and he’s looked comfortable and confident."

Anthony Elanga

Anthony Elanga has made three first-team United appearances under Solskjaer since the start of last season, and even found the net in the Premier League clash against Wolves.

The 19-year-old features on the wing for the reserve side, and has scored four goals across his seven fixtures so far this season.

Having also scored seven goals in his seven appearances for Sweden's u21s, Elanga has caught the eye of many as he looks for another shot at senior action.

Solskjaer said in July: "He's electric, his pace, his skill, he's not afraid of anything and he's got the courage and the bravery of a Man United player."

Shola Shoretire

Shola Shoretire made three first-team appearances for United last season, and became their youngest ever player to appear in European competition at the age of 17 years and 23 days.

The former Newcastle prospect currently plays for the England u19 side, and earned United's young player of the year trophy last season.

He has three goals across 11 appearances for the reserves so far this season, and Solskjaer has big plans going forward.

He said earlier this year: "He's a young kid we believe in. He's got a great attitude, he's an athlete, technically very, very good and makes good decisions. We want to gradually feed him into this team."

Charlie McNeill

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Charlie McNeill joined United from rivals Manchester City back in 2020 after scoring over 600 goals for them at youth level, despite being a fan of the Red Devils.

His prolific form continued with 24 goals in 21 games during his first season with the United u18 side, and he has managed three across 11 fixtures for the u23s this time out.

The 18-year-old has not yet made a first-team appearance, but was handed a new long-term contract in the summer as a show of faith from the club.

Joe Hugill

Joe Hugill joined United from Sunderland back in 2020, having previously been on the books at their biggest rivals in Newcastle United.

Having been selected to feature in first-team friendlies against Derby and QPR before the current season, he has since spent time training with the first-team squad.

Scoring once across his eight u23 appearances, he managed three on his return to u18 action.

Solskjaer said after the 18-year-old scored four against Liverpool last season: "Four goals by Hugill, he's a top striker as well, we're looking forward to seeing his development."

Manni Norkett

With Hugill and McNeill stealing the show last season, Manni Norkett was promoted into the u18 squad at the age of 16 back in July.

The 17-year-old has scored five goals across his eight appearances for the side so far this season, and was even selected for a Premier League 2 fixture.

Norkett has spent time with City and Sheffield United in his young career, but recently told UnitedinFocus: "I wanted to sign for Manchester United because I think they will suit my style of play more than other teams.

"I like to run and play with a bit more freedom going forward. Football is just football for me and I love everything about it, but I like to score as many goals as I can."

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