Where are they now? Every English Man Utd debutant since 2008

Quick Reads

Manchester United are known for their ability to develop players, regularly giving youngsters a chance in the first team, but how have the English debutants of the last decade fared?

Research in January revealed that United are by far the biggest producers of Premier League players, with 29 players who had come through their ranks playing in the Premier League at the time.

In total, 24 English players have made their senior debut in football for United in the last 10 years, and it’s fair to say the vast majority have done alright.

Danny Welbeck

Making his professional debut for United in 2008, Welbeck has gone on to earn 37 caps for England.

He scored a stunner on his Premier League debut against Stoke but has only netted 13 times in the league for Arsenal since 2014.

Ben Amos

Amos made his debut in the same cup tie as Welbeck and left United in 2015 to find a permanent club following a series of loans.

The goalkeeper joined Bolton, but has been loaned out twice and is currently with Charlton Athletic.

Richard Eckersley

After a couple of years playing in America, Eckersley returned home and chose to hang up his boots in 2016.

Now living in Devon, he has moved to a remote village where locals had no idea who he was, and opened a zero-waste food shop.

Tom Cleverley

Making his professional debut on loan at Leicester while on United’s books, Cleverley went on to play for the Red Devils 79 times.

The midfielder impressed on loan at Watford, where he scored 11 Championship goals in the 2009-10 season, and he is now back at Vicarage Road after a two-year spell at Everton.

He has 13 England caps next to his name but has not played for the national team since 2013.

Ravel Morrison

A turbulent career to say the least has led Morrison to Mexico, via Italy. He is currently on loan at Atlas from Lazio, and is considering switching allegiances to Jamaica.

READ: The eight stages of Ravel Morrison’s career: From Man Utd to Mexico

Will Keane

Making his Premier League debut in December 2011, Keane suffered an injury while on England Under-19 duty, keeping him out for over 12 months, and after a number of loans he joined Hull in 2016.

Ryan Tunnicliffe

Tunnicliffe made just two League Cup appearances for United in 2012, winning his dad £10,000 in the process, and now lines up for Millwall.

Jesse Lingard

England’s saviour. We’re going to win the World Cup.

READ: Jesse Lingard, irrational hatred & needing a reason to dislike Man Utd

Larnell Cole

After just one first-team appearance, former coach Rene Meulensteen poached both Tunnicliffe and Cole, then just 21, when in charge of Fulham. However, Cole failed to make the grade at Craven Cottage and is now at National League club Tranmere Rovers.

Zeki Fryers

Fryers left United in 2012 after a contract dispute and wanted a move to Tottenham, but a compensation fee for United couldn’t be agreed.

Since only a small fee is due if a player moves abroad, Fryers signed for Standard Liege but fell out of favour and controversially joined Spurs the following January.

“I’m disappointed in Tottenham. I think it’s a blatant manipulation of the situation,” Sir Alex Ferguson said at the time.

He is now at Barnsley, where he is finally experiencing some consistent game time.

Tom Thorpe

Captaining United’s Under-21s and England’s Under-19s led Thorpe to a solitary Premier League appearance, and after stints in the Football League he is currently with ATK in India, who were until recently managed by Teddy Sheringham.

Tyler Blackett

It seems a lot more recent than 2014 that Blackett burst onto the scene, being drafted into Louis Van Gaal’s squad in 2014 to cover a number of defensive injuries, making 12 appearances throughout the season.

He is now with Reading, where he has only recently been brought back to the side after being substituted on and then back off following a poor display in a defeat to Millwall.

Michael Keane

Keane left United for Burnley, where fine displays earned him a £25million move to Everton. Indifferent form has seen him lose his spot in the England squad, ironically to James Tarkowski, his replacement in the Burnley team.

Scott Wootton

Wootton partnered Keane in defence at Stamford Bridge, conceding a late penalty to send a Capital One Cup tie to extra time, the game ending 5-4 to the hosts.

He left for Leeds, where fans thought he was staying until 2017, but it turned out a contract extension which was announced was never finalised, and he now lines up for MK Dons.

Leeds fans will probably remember him for this own goal which sent Watford into the FA Cup quarter finals.

James Wilson

Wilson grabbed the headlines with two goals on his United debut in a victory over Hull in 2014, and is still at the club, albeit currently out on loan at Sheffield United.

Reece James

Sharing a house with brother Matty – who also came through the United ranks – proved useful after Reece helped his brother through a season-long injury. The roles were then reversed as the Wigan defender sat out 12 months himself.

His first professional goal came during a loan spell at Huddersfield, where he completed the impressive feat of scoring direct from a corner.

Joe Riley

Riley made two appearances for United in the 2015-16 season, and continues to captain their side in Premier League 2.

James Weir

After being sold to Hull in 2016, Weir returned from a loan at Wigan last term looking to impress in the Championship but suffered a season-ending injury playing for the Under-23s back in September.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

After a handful of disappointing appearances, Leeds ended Borthwick-Jackson’s season-long loan four months early.

The defender played in 10 Premier League games in 2015-16 but hasn’t featured for United’s first team since.

Marcus Rashford

England’s other saviour. We’re definitely going to win the World Cup.

Axel Tuanzebe

Much is hoped for Tuanzebe at United, with Jose Mourinho impressed in the first pre-season appearance he handed him, saying: “10 minutes is enough! The potential is there, you see it immediately.” The 20-year-old is currently on loan at Aston Villa.

Angel Gomes

An attacking midfielder, Gomes reportedly attracted interest from Barcelona earlier in his career. He’s also Nani’s Godson.

Josh Harrop

Leaving United with a 100% scoring record, Harrop is currently at Preston.

Demetri Mitchell

Left-sider Mitchell made his debut in the same game as Harrop, and is currently impressing on loan at Hearts.


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