Charlie McNeill and the young Red Devils dominate at Old Trafford.

The Utd Under 18 squad after beating Wolves in the Semi-final of the FA Youth Cup (Image:Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images) 

Boy wonder Charlie McNeill scored twice as Manchester United’s youngsters made their first FA Youth Cup final in 11 years – and senior boss Ralf Rangnick is looking to welcome him into the first team squad.

Manchester United secured a place in the final of the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 2011 after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 in front of 6,133 fans.

“Yes, there are quite a few technical players, really good players in possession of the ball, and, if they can combine that with physicality, with speed that is also necessary for this league, the Premier League,” said Rangnick. “I would be very happy to see a couple of those players in the first team in the next years.”

When asked about Charlie McNeill’s performance Travis Binion, manager of the youth team, said: “He is a goal scorer, that will always be his currency. It is the hardest thing in the game to do, but his all-round game is developing well. He is developing well, so we are really pleased with him.”  

Throughout the 2021-22 season, McNeill has made 25 appearances for the club and scored 25 goals combined with four assists for the United striker.

Charlie McNeill leading the Red Devils to victory.

The semi-final match against Wolves kicked off and both teams were showing promising signs in the opening minutes. Although Wolves had a few chances of their own, United broke the deadlock with a goal from McNeill as he flicked the ball past the keeper and slotted one home for The Reds.

In the second half, he had a chance to make it two for United but hit his shot just wide of opposition goal. From a Wolves attempt at an attack United were able to get the ball back before Hansen passed a long ball to Alejandro Garnacho. United were two on two with wolves’ defence and Garnacho was able to cut inside on his right foot and struck the ball in the top right-hand corner of the net.

Alejandro Garnacho celebrates with team mate Charlie McNeill (Image: Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

“Garnacho has got to perform. He is getting a taste for that now. He’s learning how to perform well and is working really hard,” said Binnion, whose night was complete when McNeill tapped in a third.

United’s remaining fixtures

The dedicated Devils have 12 remaining fixtures in the Under 18’s Premier League and have the final to play in the FA Youth Cup as they host either Chelsea or Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford. So far this season our young devils have fallen behind in challenging their rivals, Liverpool and Manchester city, for the title. A reason for this could be because the youth set up throughout Manchester United and other teams match the ideology of the senior team in terms of how they play.  As a result, the Liverpool and Manchester City sides seem to be more solid in defence and play as a unit understanding where each player will be positioned throughout the game.

Ahead of the game on April 30 the Under 18 squad have the chance to walk in the footsteps of some of United’s most successful youth teams, The Busby Babes and The Class of 92, as they fight to become FA Youth Cup victors. “We know that here is a lovely opportunity for the boys to put their name in the history book,” United’s head of academy Nick Cox said.

Author: Stacey Marsh

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