Manchester United is known for being a club that gives young people a platform to showcase their talents, with at least one academy product named in every matchday squad since 1937 – yes, you read that right.
This astonishing record does not look like an end soon, with 18-year-old Zidane Iqbal the latest star to impress.
Iqbal scored a lavish goal in United U23’s 2-1 defeat to Sunderland in the Papa John’s Trophy on Wednesday night, and despite his team being at the wrong end of the line, the midfielder has received praise for his display.
Latest United on my Mind Facebook Live, Omar Garrick and Anil Kandola discussed all things United, including the impressive Iqbal.
AND : “He is a player who plays in the number 10 position and he can also play either left or right. I really like him. I know a lot of people who watch a lot of United’s academy games and they’ve been deeply impressed with him. I think he’s going to be the next big thing.
“The way he moves, the way he slides – he has everything about him and he can be the next Mason Greenwood in terms of getting through and breaking into the first team.”
WHOSE : “He is a creative player and he is exciting. He has massive comparisons to a particular person because of his name – he has big boots to fill!
“Because Manchester United have never been a club to hesitate to try the youngsters, and often many of them have worked over the years, but you want him to develop naturally. He wants to be a brilliant player, but that is an element of easing him into the game.
“The best example is Tahith Chong. In the U23s and even now he has been electric, but when he was on the first team at United he looked like he needed more playing time elsewhere to show his potential.
“Iqbal is a brilliant talent, but he needs to grow and nurture organically and develop in a way that will benefit him. Having players like Iqbal and Greenwood come through the ranks makes you proud to be a Manchester United fan.
“Players like Iqbal who come through are not a million miles away from breaking into the first team. The boy is 18 years old and it is an incredibly exciting time for such a player to get through. See this room. “
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AND : “There are a lot of United academy players knocking on the door. It’s a really exciting time to be a supporter of United.
“Nicky Butt recently touched on the shift in approach to the academy system and United could not only rely on local players for their academy and they needed to expand their scouting approach. It clearly pays off.
“These are really exciting times for the youth, and there is no one better to be under than Ole Gunnar Solskjær, because they will probably get an opportunity under him.”