Six of the youth players that Manchester United offered contracts to at the end of last season have confirmed they have signed professional terms with the club.
Josh Harrop, Sean Goss, Matthew Willock, Kieran O’Hara, Ashley Fletcher and Callum Evans all penned their new deals in the company of United legend and club director, Sir Bobby Charlton. Here’s a brief overview of our young professionals:
Josh Harrop – Harrop was on the shortlist for the Jimmy Murphy Academy Player of the Year award, losing out to the prolific James Wilson. Harrop’s skill level allows him to play in numerous, positions including left-back and anywhere across the midfield, without ever looking out of place. He played predominantly at Under-18 level last season, and made appearances at Under-19 and Under-21 level which he’ll be hoping to build upon.
Joshua Harrop signing his new contract at United today. pic.twitter.com/rH5KOFZTiJ
— Sanj (@Sanj_92) July 9, 2014
Sean Goss – An elegant midfielder with a thunderous shot, Goss joined Harrop and Wilson on the shortlist for the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year award. He played a number of games in United’s short lived run in the inaugural UEFA Youth League, where he was deployed at left back, and acquitted himself admirably. He’ll be hoping to push on and feature for the Under-21s, especially with Academy boss Paul McGuinness saying that he has a bright future.
Matthew Willock – Willock was almost ever-present for the Under-18s last season. He, along with Goss, ran the midfield for United for the majority of the season. More defensive minded than his midfield partner, Willock’s energy in the centre of the pitch allows him to win back and distribute possession. That being said, he’s more than capable going forward as well.
Kieran O’Hara – Kieran O’Hara spent a lot of last season on a work experience loan at Trafford FC. He did superbly and rightly was rewarded with a professional contract. One of a number of young goalkeeper’s on United’s books, he’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Joel Castro Pereira and Dean Henderson, but his time away from Old Trafford will stand him in good stead.
Ashley Fletcher – Ashley Fletcher was United’s top-scorer at Under-18 level with 12 goals last year in a season limited by injury, which is a formidable statistic. He led the line excellently and developed a lethal partnership with James Wilson before the latter’s promotion to the Under-21s. Fingers crossed the towering striker has an uninterrupted season where he can flourish as the point man on attacks.
Callum Evans – A talented full back with an aptitude for attack, Callum Evans is another who is being rewarded for a good season with the Under-18s. Evans can play in either full back position, as well as in central defence. Hopefully he continues to develop at his current rate as versatility, particularly at his age, is a great quality to have.