Two of the Most Exciting Strikers in the Manchester United Academy

Joe Hugill of the Manchester United academy
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The Manchester United academy is considered one of the best in the world, with its exports seeing success far and wide. From the class of ’92 to Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford of the present day, United have witnessed countless world-class players emerge from their ranks, and another golden generation appears to be developing. In particular, United’s youth setup is home to two extraordinarily exciting strikers, with Joe Hugill and Charlie McNeil both scoring regular goals for the Red Devils’ under-23s and under-18s respectively.

Two Supremely Talented Strikers in the Manchester United Academy

Joe Hugill

Hugill joined United from Sunderland last summer for a reported fee of just under £300,000.

The young striker made three appearances for the Black Cats’ under-23s towards the end of last season, scoring two goals.

Since his move to Manchester, though, Hugill has been practically undroppable. He has netted ten times and made two assists so far this season with the under-23s, averaging a direct goal contribution every 87 minutes. This is even more impressive when considering that the vast majority of the players that United have fielded in the Premier League 2 this campaign are new to the competition, having either previously played with younger age groups or with different teams altogether.

One particularly impressive performance came against Liverpool‘s under-23s as Hugill scored four times in a 6-3 victory.

The young Englishman has also impressed with the under-18s since signing for the Red Devils, scoring six goals in five games.

In terms of strong attributes, the former Sunderland man has made a particularly sizable impression with his finishing. Both long and short-range efforts have caught the eyes of fans.

He netted a beautiful goal, the opener in his first match against Blackburn Rovers, which saw his shot from outside of the box rattle against one post and go in via the opposite side netting.

By contrast, he scored another fantastic goal in a game against Liverpool’s under-18s, but this time it was nearer the six-yard box. In the last few minutes of the game, Hugill snatched the winner with a wonderful shot on the turn, tucked into the bottom corner.

There has been much praise for the 17-year-old since he signed, and calls for his first-team debut have even started to emerge.

Charlie McNeil

Similarly, McNeil was not playing in a Manchester United shirt last season. In fact, the youngster was something of a legend in the youth setup on the other side of Manchester, having scored over 600 goals for the academy of the Red Devils’ bitter rivals Manchester City.

A boyhood United fan, though, McNeil returned to the Theatre of Dreams in October of last year for a reported price of £720,000. His goal-scoring form has not withered since the move either, with 15 goals in as many games for the Old Trafford side’s under-18s. This included netting all four goals in a 4-2 victory over his former side, with a header at the near post and a tidy finish from the edge of the box helping him to this achievement.

McNeil may well see himself promoted to the under-23s next season, especially if Joe Hugill starts to break into the senior side, and there is no doubt that he will continue to score goals wherever he plays.


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