Charlie McNeill shows off Man Utd allegiance – after smashing four past City

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Manchester United fans are increasingly aware of a number of talented teenagers in the club’s junior ranks and are excited about the prospects that will break through in the coming years.

Amad Diallo is obviously getting a lot of attention for good reason following his £37.5m transfer from Atalanta last month, Hannibal Mejbri is another shining talent, while Shola Shoretire recently signed his first professional contract with the club.

Shola Shoretire
Shola Shoretire is training with the first-team at 17 | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

After Amad’s much talked about debut for the Under-23 team last month, it was another player that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he had his eye on because Joe Hugill, only 17, scored four in the same game. Antony Elanga, meanwhile, was last season’s Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year.

Gary Neville is clearly very proud that nephew Harvey, son of Phil, is starting to make an impact at Under-23 level, and is regularly tweeting about the 18-year-old. United worked hard to bring in 16-year-old Norwegian player Isak Hansen, as well as Spanish pair Marc Jurado and Alvaro Fernandez. At 17, local star Zidane Iqbal is one fans are keen to see develop.

But another name on the lips of eager fans is Charlie McNeill, and he is – perhaps – the youngster that everybody should be most excited about.

Poached from rivals rivals Manchester City, McNeill haunted his former employers with a hugely impressive four-goal showing in United’s 4-2 win in the Under-18 Premier League.

McNeill supported United growing up and re-joined the club from City two days after his 17th birthday in September. Nailing his colours to the mast and leaving no doubts about his loyalties now, the teenager grabbed and kissed the Red Devils badge on his chest as he opened the scoring.

Twitter is awash with rumours that McNeill has scored over 600 goals at youth level to date and it wouldn’t be difficult to see why when he possesses a whole range of attributes. His first of the Under-18 derby, for example, was a near post header from a corner, while his fourth to cap off the win saw him chase down and dispossess a City defender, before rifling home a bullet finish.

McNeill scored twice on his United debut against Derby County in October and has scored 12 times in 11 appearances in the Under-18 Premier League so far this season and the team has won all but one of those games to go top of the table.

The sky is clearly the limit for McNeill, as is the case for a whole host of other United youngsters. On the advice of Bruno Fernandes, he and the rest must keep working hard and stay humble as they continue to develop. But, before long, you could be hearing much more about Charlie McNeill.

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