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06th Jul 2016

Jose Mourinho set to give senior starts to two Manchester United academy defenders

Chance to impress

Patrick McCarry

49! Just in case you were wondering, Jose Mourinho has promoted FORTY-NINE academy players to the first team during his years in management.

Mourinho gave his first press briefing as Manchester United boss, on Tuesday, and addressed the recent stories about him not giving young players a chance, at Porto, Inter, Real Madrid and Chelsea (twice).

With Louis van Gaal’s top achievements at United being an FA Cup win and promoting young players – Marcus Rashford, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Timothy Fosu Mensah to name three – many reporters and fans are questioning whether Mourinho will keep that flag flying.

Mourinho jumped on a question about giving young players a break and told the room he would need 10 minutes to fully answer how, why, where and when he did just that.

Mourinho is now set to give a couple of United academy players their senior debuts next Saturday.

United have lined up a preseason friendly against Wigan before they jet off to China for three games, against Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray and Manchester City.

Mourinho’s first United game in charge should feature young defenders Axel Tuanzebe, 19, and Tyrell Warren, 17. The teenagers impressed with United’s Under-21 side last season and have been recommended to Mourinho by their coach, Nicky Butt. The Portuguese said:

“I don’t know them well but I just trust Nicky Butt, John Murtough [head of football development] and the structure’s judgement, when they say we have a few players who, in a couple of years, can be first-team players.”

Tuanzebe was named on the bench for United’s league tie against Crystal Palace, last season, but he did not make his senior debut. He was on the same United U11 team as Marcus Rashford.

Warren is a local lad and mainly played with the United U18s last season but had four U21 substitute appearances.

Mourinho will not be able to claim the young defenders as academy promotions No.50 and 51 just yet but a good showing against Wigan will certainly boost their senior squad aspirations.


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