The one that got away.

Man Utd’s 10 most valuable academy graduates in 2024 according to Transfermarkt

It’s been over three decades since the Class of ’92 graduated, and a solid 25 years since they peaked and won the treble. Manchester United may not have had a youth cohort with quite as much talent since then, but Carrington continues to produce young stars year on year.

Plenty of the Premier League’s top players came through United’s academy and moved elsewhere in search of game time which, in the age of financial fair play, is actually pretty valuable to the Red Devils.

We’ve scoured Transfermarkt to find the most valuable Carrington graduates playing in 2024. In at number 10, a Brazilian playmaker who didn’t quite cut the Manchester mustard.

10. Andreas Pereira – €20m

Pereira may not have nailed down a spot in United’s first team, but he’s managed to carve out a solid career for himself nonetheless.

Loan spells at Granada, Flamengo, Lazio, and Flamengo preceded a permanent move to Fulham, where he’s now a first-team regular in the Premier League.

9. Dwight McNeil – €22m

To be fair, McNeil left United’s academy at the age of 14 due to lack of game time, and moved on to Burnley. You know the rest.

McNeil established himself as a disciple of Sean Dyche, and a top Premier League winger. He’d have tough competition, but there’s an argument to be made that he might well make it into United’s team in 2024.

He’d have to oust a couple of ballers from later in this list first, though…

8. Anthony Elanga – €22m

This flying Swede is smashing it in the Prem. Made the most of his limited game time at United, made the switch to Nottingham Forest in search of regular football, and put the shakes in full-backs up and down the country.

Elanga has been linked with a big-money move to Newcastle this summer, where he’d presumably take over from Miguel Almiron on the right wing. Makes sense to us.

Erik ten Hag's Manchester United are firmly in the top four race.

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7. James Garner – €22m

The now Everton midfielder shares a name with the legendary actor and veteran of WWII and the Korean War. As far as we’re aware James Garner the footballer did not fight in World War 2 on account of not having been born until the year 2001, 56 years after the end of the war.

The 23-year-old was born on Merseyside and is now back in his homeland, making a name for himself in the Toffees’ midfield.

6. Mason Greenwood – €25m

Greenwood’s loan at Villareal has expired, making him a Manchester United player once again. What they decided to do with him remains to be seen.

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5. Angel Gomes

United couldn’t find space for Gomes in their midfield when he came of age, and that is to their detriment. Gomes was afforded only ten first-team appearances across four seasons up until 2020, and so the English-Portuguese playmaker moved abroad.

Lille were smart enough to snap Gomes up, sending him on loan to Boavista for a season, where he spoke the language and could gain valuable experience.

Since returning to Lille, Gomes has been a first-team regular and pundits including the great Ian Wright have called for him to be called up to the England team.

4. Scott McTominay – €32m

Takehiro Tomiyasu’s closest challenger for sharpest cheekbones in the Premier League, and Jose Mourinho’s pick for player of the season when he first broke through, Scott McTominay is still at Old Trafford in 2024.

He plays a little higher up the pitch these days, adding goals to his game as well as just running and ball recoveries. McTominay has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford once or twice but, right now, he’s expected to be a United player in 2024-25.

3. Alejandro Garnacho – €45m

The Red Devils signed Garnacho to their youth team from Atletico Madrid for £420,000 in 2020. Nine months later they put a professional contract in front of him, and Transfermarkt now has the Argentine winger valued at €45,000,000.

If Garnacho were to move, you’d fancy he’d go for a figure well above that price, especially following his excellent season with United, and scoring one of the best goals any of us have ever seen.

That bicycle kick is going to be used in Prem montages for years to come, mark our words.

Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho scores their side's first goal of the game with an overhead kick during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Picture date: Sunday November 26, 2023.

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2. Kobbie Mainoo – €50m

The breakout star of last season is already worth an arm and a leg if Transfermarkt is to be believed. Kobbie has become a starter in the centre of England’s midfield at the age of 19, which is quite something.

The future is extremely bright for Mainoo, we feel quite confident in saying that, whether he stays at United or not. There’s your hot take.

1. Marcus Rashford

Rashford is a supremely talented footballer, there is absolutely no doubt about that. He’s been a little off the boil recently. Something just hasn’t seemed quite right with him, and, as a result, he failed to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024.

The forward is still a Manchester United player for now, but a change of scenery might just be exactly what he needs to reignite his career. It’s easy to forget that he’s still only 26 and his best years potentially lie ahead of him.