This kid is a serious baller.

Man Utd’s teenage Wayne Rooney regen is already defying the rules of football

Manchester United are no strangers to some of football’s most promising young talents, but it’s not often a prospect emerges with a profile like Amir Ibragimov’s.

We’ve heard it all before about a youngster in the ranks at United – way too often, actually – and while some do unfortunately become overhyped, there’s also the rather pressing issue that is the Red Devils’ seemingly never-ending post-Ferguson banter era.

It’s been a tough gig for players, management and staff alike at Old Trafford over the last decade and making it stick as a youngster with the weight of the world on your shoulders has consistently proven almost impossible.

With unnecessary hype from social media rife and United managers often resorting to overexposing their most promising young talents too soon when under pressure, plenty of high-potential ballers have stagnated or missed their chance completely.

For Ibragimov, though, failure isn’t an option. It simply can’t be for a wonderkid so obscenely talented at such a young age.

Born in Dagestan, Ibragimov moved to England at the age of eight with his family and his English football journey began with Sheffield United, before heading to the red side of Manchester later down the line.

It’s in Manchester where his talent has blossomed, having very quickly turned into both a technical and a genetic freak that even WWE legend Scott Steiner would struggle to comprehend.

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For as talented as Ibragimov is, however, it’s not ‘Big Papa Pump’ who he’s been compared to (until now). The comparison he has drawn is much more iconic.

“There aren’t many I’ve seen that can run like him,” Raducio King told the Manchester Evening News, having been responsible for recruiting him for United.

“I could see him playing as a No.10, like a Wayne Rooney role, driving forward, switching balls, tackling, attacking, you name it. Just making sure the team does well – he can attack and defend.”

We’ve done enough talking. Time to see the Rooney regen in action.

Being compared to Rooney is one thing; being anywhere near as good as United’s record scorer is probably impossible.

However, if there’s anybody who we’re convinced right now could push that statement to its limit, it’s Ibragimov. He only turned at the beginning of April and has already trained with Erik ten Hag’s senior squad, while also playing twice in Premier League 2 with the under-21s so far this season.

Representing England at youth level despite being born in Russia, Ibragimov’s bullish approach in possession contrasts beautifully with a technical excellence that can’t really be taught.

Ironically, we’d love to see him in an episode of Wayne Rooney’s Street Striker.

Comparing him to the United legend – on profile alone – wasn’t the only thing King had to say about Ibragimov, in a truly glowing review of the youngster  – who appears to play with magnets in his boots.

“Hard work beats talent and he’s got both. He can be guided to become even more successful and we’re one big family. He was shy at first, but if he knows you, you’ll see the real Amir. He was going to be a little reserved, to begin with.

“He came to this country and couldn’t speak the language, but his English is beautiful now, it’s really good. I went to his game against PSG (in 2023). His work rate was shown again but we thought he could have done better, in the sense of being more creative.”

King’s final point about creativity serves as an important reminder that the 16-year-old’s career is yet to even really begin. For all the outrageous attributes from the freakish ball carrying and balance to the strength and eye for goal, Ibragimov is still taking his first steps into the professional game.

Those steps, however, are rather massive strides. And if he maintains his current trajectory, he’ll be debuting as a teenager, shouting at referees and volleying loose balls towards goal in no time, ready to spark a revival at the Theatre of Dreams.

Remember the name.

By Mitch Wilks