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17th Feb 2016

All you need to know of Regan Poole and Joe Riley, Manchester United’s Europa League call-ups

Big chance

Patrick McCarry

The youth revolt continues at Old Trafford.

The absence of Wayne Rooney’s name from the Manchester United squad list for their Europa League game with FC Midtjylland was this morning’s headline news.

However, what many may have missed from United’s squad confirmation was the inclusion of two young players who could make their senior debuts in Denmark.

Louis van Gaal is bringing Regan Poole, 17, and Joe Riley, 19, with him for the first leg of United’s knock-out tie.

The pair featured in United U21’s 1-0 win over Reading, on Monday, and flew out with the senior squad this morning. With Matteo Darmian joining fellow defenders Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones on the sidelines, the pair have every chance of getting a cup run.

MANCHESTER UNITED SQUAD: De Gea, Romero, Love*, McNair, Smalling, Blind, Poole*, Riley*, Carrick, Herrera, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Pereira, Weir*, Mata, Memphis, Martial, Keane.

Here is a little more on Poole and Riley.

Regan Poole

Regan Poole

The Welsh youngster was signed by United on the same day as Anthony Martial. Once he makes his senior, Poole, who was signed from Newport County, will only cost United £400,000.

The centre-back played 15 times for Newport last season and was snapped up as one for the future, following glowing reports from their scouts.

The Wales U19 international did not make his United debut until late November after a delay in securing Fifa clearance. This, bizarrely, was because the transfer was from country to country [Wales to England].

Joe Riley

The Blackpool native can play across the midfield or, as has happened frequently this season, at right-back.

The United scouting report describes him as a player who is ‘extremely tenacious and does not know the meaning of the word defeat’. He was a key member of Paul McGuinness’ U18 side before taking the recent step up to the U21s.

“Joe had a solid season,” McGuinness recalled. “He was Player of the Tournament [at the Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup six-a-side] in Germany and did well.”

Like Darmian for the seniors, Riley has been used at right and left-back this season.

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