ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – NOVEMBER 28: Jesse Lingard of Manchester United in action with Ivan Mayewski of FK Astana during the UEFA Europa League group L match between FK Astana and Manchester United at Astana Arena on November 28, 2019 in Astana, Kazakhstan. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United fielded at record setting young team in the shivering weather of Kazakhstan and ended up on the losing side. Though the night ended in defeat, there were definitely reasons to feel hopeful as well as excited for the future. Here’s the good and bad from the latest Europa league fiture.
1. Ethan Laird – An exciting prospect
In Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United have finally a world class right back and there is no comparing him to Laird at the moment. But what Ethan Laird showed against Astana was that he can be an immense threat going forward. Despite having the jitters of getting his debut, Laird was able to balance his conservative approach with making smart and threating runs going forward. Laird can be the second choice to Aaron very soon and at a point where both of them can learn from each other and improve together.
2. Dylan Levitt – An asset
Dylan Levitt has been highly spoken of by most of the people who follow the youth team and tonight he showed why. Some of the intricate passes, quick thinking and moves in ball possession showed gave an insight into his technique and vision. He has probably shown enough to get a look into the first team again this season, but even if he hasn’t, we sure have a lot to look forward to from this young man in the coming years.
3. Tie down the Angel
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the futures of two of the most talked about youth prospects at our club in Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes. But going off not only by tonight but their performances over the years, Angel Gomes is the one with a high potential ceiling and we should do all we can to give him the opportunity to succeed at Old Trafford. Although he didn’t do wonders against Astana, what Angel did do, was show us enough to want to keep him at the club and avoid Pogba-like debacle.
4. The Shaw dilemma
Luke Shaw is in a tough juncture with his United career, AGAIN. By the look of things, Shaw might have his work cut out as emergence of Brandon Williams in the first team. Shaw has had a bumpy time at United that included a horrific injury and being laid out to dry by more than one manager. Last year, Shaw won the highly debateable Player of the year for United but his progression as a player hasn’t come as far as we had hoped. Now that he has competition from someone other than Ashley Young, it’ll be interesting to see how Luke Shaw reacts to this new challenge.
5. If not World class, a deeper squad
One of United’s major problems this season is the serious lack of squad depth we have found ourselves in. There is a lot of potential is the current crop of youngsters at our club, most of who were involved against Astana. There is a chance that majority of them might not become the world beaters we all would want them to, and end up being somewhere in the middle. The positive to look at from here is the fact that if half of them reach half their potential, we will have good chunk of players who can be solid squad players going forward.
What do you think?