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Which Former United Academy Boys Are In The PL This Season?

Chris Eagles – Bolton
Total appearances: 17
He joined United’s academy when he was 14 years old and left the club for Burnley when he was 22. He made his début when he was 17-years-old in the League Cup against Leeds. He spent time on loan at Watford, Sheffield Wednesday and NEC Nijmegen. This summer, he signed for Bolton in a deal worth £3m.

Phil Neville – Everton
Total appearances: 386
Phil joined when he was 13 years old and left when he was 28. He made his début a week after his 18th birthday against Wrexham in the FA Cup. He became vice-captain at Everton a year after joining them and was made captain the following season.

Danny Guthrie – Newcastle
Total appearances: 0
He joined the United academy when he was 13 years old and left for Liverpool FC when he was 16. He was loaned out to Southampton and Bolton before joining Newcastle in 2008, for whom he has played 85 games.

Danny Simpson – Newcastle
Total appearances: 8
Salford born Simpson joined the academy when he was 15 years old and left for Newcastle when he was 23. He made his début when he was 20 against Coventry in the League Cup and spent time on loan at Royal Antwerp, Sunderland, Ipswich, Blackburn and Newcastle, before joining the latter club on a permanent basis.

David Fox – Norwich
Total appearances: 0
Fox signed his first contract with United when he was 17-years-old and left the club when he was 22. After spending time on loan at Royal Antwerp and Shrewsbury, he signed for Blackpool. He was released by Ian Holloway three years later and signed for Colchester where he spent a season, before joining Norwich. He became a first team regular last season and helped them gain promotion to the Premier League.

Ryan Shawcross – Stoke
Total appearances: 2
He joined the club when he was 15-years-old and left for Stoke when he was 20, after playing there on loan. Two years later, Shawcross was made captain.

Danny Pugh – Stoke
Total appearances: 2
After joining the academy, he made his début when he was 19-years-old before joining Leeds two years later in part exchange for Alan Smith. He stayed there for two seasons before joining Preston North End. From there he joined Stoke on loan, in a deal which became permanent.

Danny Higginbotham – Stoke
Total appearances: 7
Born in Manchester and joining the academy as a lad, Higginbotham spent time out on loan at Royal Antwerp before signing for Derby County when he was 21-years-old. Since then he has played for Southampton and Sunderland, as well as his current club Stoke, which he joined for the second time in 2008.

Mark Wilson – Stoke
Total appearances: 0
He joined United when he was 13 years old before moving to Portsmouth four years later. From there he spent time on loan at Bournewoth, Yeovil and Luton, before joining Stoke last year where he is a first team regular.

John O’Shea – Sunderland
Total appearances: 392
O’Shea joined United when he was 17-years-old and when still a teenager was loaned out to Bournemouth. He made his début when he was 18 against Aston Villa in the League Cup. Only 28 players have featured more for United more than O’Shea.

Wesley Brown – Sunderland
Total appearances: 361
Born in Longsight, Wes joined the academy when he was just 12-years-old. He made his début against Leeds United in a 3-0 win when he was 18. Only 36 players have featured more for United than Brown.

Phil Bardsley – Sunderland
Total appearances: 18
Born in Salford, Bardsley joined the club when he was just 8-years-old. He grew up near The Cliff and used to watch the players train during the school holidays. Whilst at United, he spent time on loan at Royal Antwerp, Burnley, Rangers, Villa and Sheffield United, before signing for Sunderland when he was 22.

Fraizer Campbell – Sunderland
Total appearances: 4
Campbell joined our youth scheme when he was 10-years-old and made his début against City in the league when he was 19. He spent time on loan at Royal Antwerp, Hull and Spurs before joining Sunderland.

Kieran Richardson – Sunderland
Total appearances: 81
Richardson joined our academy when he was 16-years-old and made his début when he was 17 in the Champions League. After enjoying a loan period at West Brom, where he was instrumental in saving them from relegation. He scored two goals on his England début before being sold to Sunderland.

Alan Tate – Swansea
Total appearances: 0
Tate joined United’s academy when he was a teenager and went on to captain the Reserve team. He spent time on loan at Royal Antwerp and Swansea, before making a permanent move to the latter, where he is now the vice-captain.

Luke Daniels – West Brom
Total appearances: 0
This Bolton born keeper joined United when he was 9-years-old and left the club for West Brom when he was 16 in a deal that saw Kuszczak come the other way. He has yet to make his way in to the first team at West Brom, spending time out on loan and playing for Motherwell, Shrewsbury Town, Tranmere Rovers, Charlton Athletic, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers.

David Jones – Wigan
Total appearances: 4
Jones joined United’s academy when he was 10-years-old and made his début when he was 19 against Arsenal in the League Cup. He spent time on loan at Preston, NEC Nijmegen and Derby County, before joining the latter permanently. He spent just one season there before joining Wolves. After three seasons there he was offered a new deal, which he rejected, before joining Wigan on a free transfer this summer after spending a period there on trial.

Mike Pollitt – Wigan
Total appearances: 0
Politt joined United when he was a teenager and signed a two-year apprenticeship when he was 16. After spending time on loan with Oldham and Macclesfield, before joining Bury on a permanent deal when he was 19. Since then, he has played for Lincoln, Altrincham, Darlington, Notts County, Gillingham, Brentford, Sunderland, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Ipswich and Burnley. He joined his current club in 2005 but has largely been used as back up.

Sylvan Ebanks-BlakeSyWolves
Total appearances: 2
Ebanks-Blake was a boyhood Liverpool fan but opted to join United’s academy when he was a teenager. He made his début in the League Cup against Crewe Alexandra when he was 18. Ian Holloway signed him for Plymouth Argyle where he spent two years before joining Wolves. He won the Championship Golden Boot in 2008 and 2009.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. smartalex says:

    How thoughtful CedarsDevil, thank you! For your wonderful gesture …

  2. smartalex says:

    Balaji – Thanks my friend! good advice indeed!

  3. Fibes says:

    Really think we unlocked a magic door in some of those pre-season games. Where (certainly pre-February) we lacked imagination last season, now it seems boundless. I can really see our season going places.

    - Ashley Young gives us great balance, and a terrific final ball into the box from the left hand side. When Chicho is back, just watch the goals clock up via this route, him and Rooney both.

    - Defensively I expect us to be slightly less solid than last season, what with De Gea ‘emerging’. It’s easy to forget just how unbelievably amazing VDS was for us, nobody is going to look great in that shadow. Expect Lindegaard to feature against the QPR’s, the Norwich’s and the CL dead rubbers too.

    - No fear for the creaking limbs of RioFerdy™ and Vidic, Phil Jones, Ice Cold and Johnny Evans are coming of age, welcome to the next 10 years of defensive lock-down.

    - Three Lungs I reckon will play a more central role for the most part, covering Ando and Clevers and coming on as sub when we’ve already ground teams down and just need the hard running to capitalise. I don’t doubt he can do a storming man-marking role when the game requires it too, although he’s much better than that.

    - Ando has had his first full pre-season for what seems like…. well, his first full pre-season, probably. And it shows, where before he’s had to be eased into a season, this time around there’s smoke coming off them boots.

    - Welbeck looks a lot more creative than when we last properly saw him, and much much stronger. Still losing the ball cheaply in places, he’s certainly no Berbagod yet in terms of holding the ball up. Some of the interplay between Ando/Clevers/Welbeck/Three Lungs and Rooney though is getting towards Barca standards, without the theatrics. It’s like Barca but extra strong. Again, add Chico in the mix and you have someone who not only knows where the goal is, but can make something out of nothing himself.

    - Let’s not forget too, just how good sharp Kiko looked in that first pre-season game, and Owen too. Berba offers us something different for when a team goes into complete lock-down, 11 behind the ball. There’ll be games and situations where those are the sorts of characters we need. Thinking deep deep injury time winners, to be part of like what somebody here once described as ‘the nuclear option’ (it was Ronaldo/Rooney/Berba/That Cunt at the time) If fit, they could all grab 10 goals plus, on the quiet.

    - For all the money and glut of posh players (or money grabbing cunts, whichever way you look at it) City have found themselves with, I don’t think they can compete with us for raw versatility, for options. Aguero looks like a right handful, him and Dzeko together seem to have instantly combined really well, for all we hate him, That Cunt knows how to grab a goal from behind his snood, and That Other Cunt (the French One) is creatively adept also. Despite Mankini’s defensive philosophy, they still look like conceding goals. And there is no way on earth they are going to keep all those players happy, no way on earth, it could all implode all so easily. Starting with Plooper Mario. They’ll take us on until November/December and tail off a bit, I think. While for us, once the first phase of the Champions League is out of the way, that’s where we’ll begin to seriously motor. Not that we aren’t already.

    - Chelsea look like a side in transition to me, top 4 but don’t look like champions. Still, everyone said that about us last season.

    - Liverpool have bought predominantly British, in the old Daglish tradition (although, there were no foreigners way back then). I think they’ll be strong, but they’re still playing catch up in terms of sheer strength in depth. After Suarez and Carroll I can’t see too much to be afraid of up front. Too many young players just not quite ready, a few key injuries at the wrong times and I think the whole King Kenny bandwagon will start to lose it’s sheen around March time.

    - Barca are beatable, and I think with our combination of plentiful dynamic youngsters and old heads will be the team that does it. Tactically we look more solid, by May De Gea will have learnt the English for ‘Mine!’, up front we look like we’ve many more ways to open them up.

  4. Gandalf says:

    @smartalex – thanks for that link to 30 minute highlights!

    Very impressive performance by our youngsters. I was a little skeptical of young, but he has done exceptionally well. And Jones – wow!!! Smalling – seems like he has been playing right back all his life!
    I’m very proud of the faith Fergie is showing in these players and them paying him back with mature professional performances.
    The pace of our game is very good with all these young players. I really hope this season anderson and cleverly can maintain their forms in midfield and stay clear of injuries and can breakthru.

  5. Zibbie says:

    LOL the lead singer was thinking of a pool boy named Pablo!!!!!!!!
    I remember when I figured out Freddy Mercury was not singing to or about women in his love songs.

  6. smartalex says:

    Premier League newcomers Norwich City, Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers were eliminated from the Carling Cup last night. Norwich made 11 changes to the side that drew at home to Stoke City lost 4-0 loss to League One MK Dons at Carrow Road.

    The ex-Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick scored two.

  7. smartalex says:

    Doncaster Rovers are unable to call on loan player Reece Brown in tonight’s Carling Cup second round tie at home to Leeds United as United don’t want him ‘cup-tied.’ That surely indicates that Reece may play in our ties after his return. Be good to have a Brown back in the side!

  8. united_greats08 says:

    Wow! Reading this entry felt like we’re dominating English football! This club its everywhere, its so amazing! :)

  9. RedDevil4Lyfe says:

    still hoping we get sneider. No discredit to any of our current midfielders but i believe sneider joining us will make us an even better team and he will bring a wealth of experience with him having played in Holland, Spain and Italy which could be vital for us in the champions league.
    Plus playing 60+ games a season will be tough for the young lads – especially as fergie seems to be interested in playing a very mobile game this season with quick passing and hard work which will play a toll on our midfield.
    Also having sneider will mean that our young lads such as Cleveryly and Pogba will be able to learn more.
    Fergie sign up Sneider plz and our Utd team will be complete!

    On a side note – so many utd youngsters playing – it feels great.

    Lol @ Sunderland – they can be called Mini Utd!!

  10. RedKnight says:

    Don’t know if its been mentioned but you also missed Marc Wilson – Stoke.


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