The 19 Man Utd academy graduates playing elsewhere in major leagues
Manchester United have a proud tradition of developing youngsters – and that has benefitted lots of clubs around the world.
United have an incredible record of including an academy graduate in every matchday squad dating back to 1938, but not everybody can make the grade at Old Trafford.
We’ve taken a look at every former Manchester United academy player currently playing elsewhere in Europe’s major leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
Since leaving United in 2008, Bardsley has knocked the Red Devils out of a League Cup semi-final and Wayne Rooney out in his own kitchen.
Given the fact Evans was linked with moves to Arsenal and Tottenham – as well as a return to Old Trafford – last year, is he one United shouldn’t have let go in the first place?
The right-back has gone on to win more Premier League titles than Jamie Carragher, and he won’t let the former Liverpool hero forget it.
— Danny Simpson (@dannysimpson) May 28, 2017
Another former prospect who has since returned to United to knock them out of a cup competition – Welbeck scored in Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final victory in 2015 – the forward’s future is up in the air with his Gunners contract set to expire in the summer.
A name which became synonymous with the failings of David Moyes, we can’t help but be happy for Cleverley carving out a decent career for himself at Watford.
King made just two first-team appearances for United but was sent on loan four times before joining Blackburn permanently.
The most English-sounding Norwegian ever has turned into a pretty handy Premier League forward for Bournemouth.
A four-minute cameo in a League Cup victory over Newcastle United represented Brady’s only run-out for United’s first team, but, like King, he has proved himself to be a reliable top-flight performer with Hull, Norwich and Burnley.
In 2017, Keane revealed in an interview with The Times he rejected an offer to return to United to instead join Everton from Burnley.
After a turbulent start to life at Goodison Park, the centre-back has rediscovered his best form and is now being linked with moves to Tottenham and Arsenal.
“‘I love Manchester United, but I was so desperate to leave United,” Rafael told ESPN in 2018. “Only one man did that because I liked everything about the place. I couldn’t handle him anymore.”
It’s fair to say the right-back didn’t see eye to eye with Louis van Gaal, but United’s loss was Lyon’s gain.
The other one. Plays for Nantes, before you ask.
When United allowed Drinkwater to join Leicester in 2012, they probably never expected him to end up as a Chelsea reserve.
The best England goalkeeper at Burnley, which is more of a compliment than it sounds.
Once considered the future of Manchester United and England, it’s not exactly worked out that way.
Still though, if he ever finds his groove at Real Sociedad, there’s always that buyback clause…
Zero appearances for Manchester United, while his only appearance for Leicester this season came in a FA Cup defeat to Newport County.
This is a bit tenuous, but McNeil, one of the Premier League’s breakthrough stars of the season with Burnley, actually started out in United’s academy before moving across Lancashire in his teens. He recently earned the chance to train with England’s senior squad.
🌟 Dwight McNeil (b.1999, Rochdale)
Joined Burnley's Academy after being released by Man Utd
Given a 2 year scholarship at Turf Moor
First pro deal and first team debut
— Dave Roberts ( Burnleystats ) ⚽🎙📈 (@DLRbrts) March 14, 2019
An actual World Cup winner. Sort of. We’d completely forgotten he’d started out at United…but he did.
Not the referee. An Atalanta goalkeeper apparently. Shame.
One way or another, Fosu-Mensah might not be on this list next season. Being relegated as part of this Fulham side while on loan is not a great look when you’re trying to convince the United hierarchy you can cut it at Old Trafford.