9 players you had no idea were Man Utd academy graduates


Manchester United have a reputation for producing superstars through their academy, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily know them all.

The United academy grew in popularity throughout the 1990s when it produced the famous Class of ’92. With the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and more all arriving at the same time.

We’ve dug through the archives and picked out nine academy graduates you had no idea would spend time at Manchester United.

Jack Harrison

Harrison had his MLS breakthrough in 2016 when he made his first appearance for New York City FC. After two promising seasons in the United States, he later switched to Manchester City, but few people know that he was previously part of Man United’s academy.

The Leeds United winger spent seven years in the youth ranks at Old Trafford from 2003 to 2010 before deciding to make the switch to America.

Ben Brereton Diaz

These days Brereton Diaz is a Chilean sensation. After it was revealed he had Chilean heritage, the Stoke-on-Trent-born forward was catapulted into stardom. Since then, he has played 17 games for Chile, scoring four goals in the process.

These days he is playing for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship, but spent part of his youth career with United before being snapped up by Stoke City.

I wasn’t ready for Ben Brereton Diaz’s mother’s pottery/Chilean accent pic.twitter.com/3NTsVpMMKd

— Wizards of Drivel (@wizardsofdrivel) December 24, 2021

Dwight McNeil

McNeil made a £20million move to Everton in the summer transfer window after impressing for Burnley in the Premier League. McNeil supported the Red Devils as a child, being part of their youth set-up until he was 14.

Shortly after his release from United, he was snapped up by Burnley and made his first team debut for the Clarets in 2018 at the age of 18.

Robbie Savage

OK, you probably know this, because the Wrexham-born midfielder rarely shuts up about being the ‘forgotten’ member of the class of ’92.

He never made it to Old Trafford, but still enjoyed a respectable top-flight career, making more than 600 professional appearances for seven different clubs.

Robbie Savage might never have made a first-team appearance for United, but his son Charlie has already managed to do so.

READ: Everything you need to know about Man Utd star Charlie Savage

Joshua King

King has had a solid run away from Old Trafford, but fans had high hopes for the Norwegian striker at the time. King had three loan spells while at Manchester United but only made two appearances for the club.

His most prolific spell was with Bournemouth in 2016-17 when he managed to score 16 Premier League goals. After brief spells at Watford and Everton, he now plays for Fenerbahce.

Pierluigi Gollini

From Giuseppe Rossi to Federico Macheda, United have had a handful of Italian players over the years and Gollini could have been another.

The former Spurs back-up goalkeeper spent two years in United’s youth academy before deciding to join Hellas Verona in 2014. While at Spurs he did not get the chance to make his Premier League debut, he that all 10 appearances came in cup competitions. .

These days he is on loan with Fiorentina by his parent club, Atalanta.

Ryan Shawcross

Shawcross will forever be synonymous with Tony Pulis’ Stoke City side that took the Premier League by storm back in the day. The tough defender spent the vast majority of his career at Stoke before ending his career with a short stint at Inter Miami.

However, the defender got his start at Old Trafford and after progressing through the youth ranks made two appearances for the club in the 2006-07 season.

⚽️ Another throw, another header…

This time it’s the pattern! #GoalOfTheDay #SCFC 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/twfDyMufEb

— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) November 18, 2017

Robbie Brady

Brady has made 160 Premier League appearances throughout his career and although it was Hull City who gave him his first league appearance, he did make it to Old Trafford.

The winger made just one appearance for United in 2012-13 in an FA Cup tie. These days he is playing his football for Preston North End in the Championship.

Josh Brownhill

These days, Brownhill captains Vincent Kompany’s Burnley in the Championship. The midfielder got his chance in the Premier League with the Clarets and has made 78 appearances in the top flight.

The 26-year-old spent his early days in United’s youth academy before being snapped up by Preston North End in 2012.

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