Originally known as Newton Heath LYR Football Club, Manchester United has firmly secured its place in the English Premier League and in English football history as one of the most formidable clubs to ever exist. Since their inception in 1878, they’ve secured 20 League titles, 12 FA Cups, three UEFA Champions League titles, five League cups, and the list goes on. Because of their ongoing success, they’re one of the most widely supported clubs across the world.

Because of their huge success, aspiring players the world over dream of playing for Manchester United and becoming the best players of the EPL. The club is known for including academy graduates in many if not all matchday squads and have included a number of players under the age of 18 in their lineup.

While so many dream of playing for Manchester United, these young players were given a chance to represent the ‘The Red Devils’ in ‘The Theatre of Dreams’.

David Gaskell

The former English soccer player first stepped into the club at the age of 16 during the 1960s. Largely remembered as Manchester United’s first-ever substitute, Gaskell became a regular player in the squad.

As the youngest player to ever have played for the club, Gaskell became the go-to goalkeeper that helped United win the 1963 FA Cup FInal against Leicester City.

Angel Gomes

Angel Gomes worked his way up the Manchester United’s academy from the age of five until his debut in 2017 at the age of 16. Gomes made the lineup for ten matches until he signed with Lille in 2020.

In his time with the club, Gomes was made captain at under-16, under-17 and under-18 levels. He was the youngest player for Manchester United since Duncan Edwards in 1953.

Duncan Edwards

Edwards debuted for Manchester United at age 16 in 1953. He made a contribution of 177 games for the club before his life tragically ended in the Munich air disaster. He was known as one of the Busby Babes – the team formed by Matt Busby in the 50s.

As a well-rounded player, Edwards could score goals, tackle well, outrun opponents and potentially play any position on the field.

Shola Shoretire

Shoretire debuted for the first team in 2021 at the age of 17, after playing for United’s Youth league from the age of 14. Shoretire still plays for the club and is the youngest player to debut in the UEFA Europa League.

Shoretire was named the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year for 2020/2021.

Norman Whiteside

Making his debut just before he turned 17, Norman Whiteside was a Northern Irishman who played for United from 1982 to 1989. Despite his early retirement, Whiteside was the youngest player to be involved in a FIFA World Cup and the youngest to score a goal in a League Cup and FA Cup final.

Whiteside was with United for eight seasons until he moved over to Everton.

Willie Anderson

At the age of 16, Willie Anderson debuted for Manchester United and ended up playing for the club from 1963 to 1967 before moving to Aston Villa. The striker struggled to make it in the team with the likes of the up-and-coming George Best and moved to Villa, Cardiff City and finally Portland Timbers – in the North American Soccer League.

Jeff Whitefoot

The United defender was the youngest player to debut for United, having just turned 16 in 1950, until Gaskell came along. Whitefoot played a total of 95 games for the club until he moved onto Grimsby Town and Nottingham Forest.

Whitefoot went on to play for England in 1955 at under-23 level.

Gary Neville

Neville debuted for United at the age of 17 and ended up being with the club for his entire career, from 1991 to 2011. At the time of his retirement, he was United’s second longest-serving player, behind Ryan Giggs.

Neville made 605 appearances for United and won 20 trophies.

From the 1950s to the early 2000s and even in the present-day, Manchester United have featured a number of young star soccer players to represent them on the field. While not all of them achieved huge careers, the club gave them the professional start in life to realise their soccer dreams.