Man Utd’s top 20 youth prospects from 2015 – and where they are now

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Manchester United’s class of 2015/2016 produced several first-team appearance makers, but only two remain crucial members of the current senior squad.

While United bosses have always been keen to hand minutes to those who are progressing through the academy, that doesn’t always lead to long-term success at Old Trafford.

Daily Star Sport has now taken a look at 20 players who were tipped for stardom from the 2015/16 youth sides, one of which has gone on to match all expectations.

While the majority now find themselves plying their trade in the lower tiers of English football, four remain on the books with the Red Devils six seasons on.

Ro-Shaun Williams

Defender Ro-Shaun Williams spent more than 10 years with Manchester United before signing a permanent deal with Shrewsbury Town back in 2019.

The 22-year-old former England youth international has made 64 appearances in League One since his switch, 23 of those coming already this season.

James Weir

Midfielder James Weir has had an unusual career since leaving United after 11 years back in 2016, playing for each of Hull, Wigan, Bolton and now Slovakian outfit Pohronie.

The former England youth international has been with the club for almost a year, and recently signed an extension that will run until the end of the season.

Joe Rothwell

Midfielder Joe Rothwell left United for Oxford in 2016 following loans at both Blackpool and Barnsley in the lower leagues, and has now found a secure spot at Blackburn.

The former England youth international has made 22 Championship appearances so far this season, scoring three goals and setting up another three.

Tyler Reid

Defender Tyler Reid spent time with Arsenal and Swansea’s youth teams either side of a four-year spell with United between 2012 and 2016.

Following a loan at Newport from Swansea, Reid joined Swindon Town, which was followed by a permanent move to Woking last year after a spell with Wrexham.

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  • Demetri Mitchell

    Versatile Demetri Mitchell spent 13 years on the books at United after joining from Fletcher Moss Rangers way back in 2007.

    The 24-year-old had two loan spells with Hearts in Scotland before joining Blackpool on a permanent deal last summer, and he has scored once across 13 appearances so far this season.

    Donald Love

    Former Scotland youth international Donald Love left United after 12 years at the club to join Sunderland on a permanent deal in 2016 after a loan at Wigan.

    The 26-year-old went on to join Shrewsbury Town back in 2019, and he has made four appearances in League One so far this season, starting in a win over his former club on Tuesday.

    Liam Grimshaw

    The versatile Liam Grimshaw, 26, spent 14 years on the books at United between 2002 and 2016 before leaving to join Preston on a permanent deal.

    A move to Motherwell followed in 2017, where he has made over 80 Scottish Premiership appearances across the last four seasons.

    Callum Gribbin

    Attacking midfielder Callum Gribbin was signed with United between 2008 and 2019, but left to join Sheffield United before making his first-team bow.

    The 22-year-old former England youth international has since joined Barrow.

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    Sean Goss

    German-born Sean Goss spent five years on the books at United before leaving for QPR in 2017.

    Following loans with Rangers and St Johnstone, the 25-year-old joined Shrewsbury Town in 2019.

    Ashley Fletcher

    Ashley Fletcher joined West Ham following seven years with United back in 2016.

    The 25-year-old failed to make the impact he would’ve liked in London, but impressed after joining Middlesbrough in 2017 and since going on loan to Sunderland.

    Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

    Left-back Borthwick-Jackson, went on five separate loans away from Old Trafford during his five-year spell in the first team after 12 years in the academy.

    After spending time with Wolves, Leeds, Scunthorpe, Tranmere and Oldham, the 24-year-old joined the Latics on a permanent deal last summer.

    Ben Pearson

    Midfielder Ben Pearson was in the news earlier this year after joining Bournemouth from Preston following a successful five years at the club.

    The former England youth international, 26, spent 12 years altogether with United, but failed to make a first-team appearance before impressing in the Championship.

    Josh Harrop

    Attacking midfielder Josh Harrop decided to reject the offer of a contract extension at United after scoring on his first and most recent Premier League appearance back in 2017.

    The 25-year-old opted to join Preston, and made 94 appearances in total before signing for Ipswich on loan in League One as recently as last month.

    Tyler Blackett

    Tyler Blackett looked set to have a fine spell at United after a solid start to the 2014/15 season, but his career moved away from Old Trafford following a string of loans.

    From Blackpool to Birmingham and then Celtic, the 26-year-old joined Reading on a permanent deal before switching to Nottingham Forest last year.

    Paddy McNair

    Northern Ireland international Paddy McNair left United after five years at the club following 27 first-team appearances across 2014/15 and 2015/16.

    The 25-year-old left Sunderland for Middlesbrough back in 2018, making a total of 86 appearances so far and scoring on six occasions in all competitions last season.

    Joel Castro-Pereira

    Goalkeeper Joel Castro-Pereira, 24, has made three first-team appearances for United during his eight years on the books, going out on six separate loans.

    Following spells with Rochdale, Belenenses, Vitoria de Setubal, Kortrijk and Hearts, the former Switzerland and Portugal youth international is currently on loan at Huddersfield.

    Timothy Fosu-Mensah

    Timothy Fosu-Mensah rejected the chance to stay at United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by choosing to join Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent deal last month.

    That switch brought an end to his six total years at Old Trafford, during which time he made a total of 30 appearances either side of loans at Crystal Palace and Fulham.

    Andreas Pereira

    Andreas Pereira has had a tricky time at United since joining from PSV way back in 2014, spending time on loan at Granada, Valencia and currently Lazio.

    Although the Brazil international has made a total of 75 first-team appearances, he could leave permanently before me makes another one despite his contract running until 2023.

    Axel Tuanzebe

    Axel Tuanzebe has shown glimpses of his defensive ability in the United first-team since making his debut back in 2017 after joining the youth academy in 2006.

    The 23-year-old has been tipped for a long and successful career at Old Trafford by Solskjaer, and could end up as Harry Maguire’s long-term partner.

    Marcus Rashford

    Marcus Rashford is by far the biggest success story of the 2015/16 academy prospects, as well as being awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire last year, the 23-year-old has scored 83 goals for the club across 250 appearances.

    The England forward will now be looking to win more silverware with his boyhood club, to add to the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League medals in his cabinet.

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    • Manchester United FC
    • Premier League
    • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
    • Marcus Rashford
    • Europa League
    • League Cup
    • Scottish Premiership
    • FA Cup

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