Who will win the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year at Man United? – Man United News And Transfer News – Fitnessnacks & Sports


    Manchester United u21s’ season came to a close earlier this month with a draw at home to Leicester City before taking on Blackpool’s development squad in a friendly, which also ended all level.

    Mark Dempsey’s young United side experienced a disappointing and turbulent season, including a number of highs and lows which saw them finish in 9th place in PL2.

    Despite picking up no honours as a team, the end of the season marks the time of year where one youngster will be graced with the title of Denzil Haroun’s Reserve Team Player of the Year and below we cover who deserves to win the award.

    Joe Hugill

    It is hard to look beyond Hugill as player of the season with the striker netting 10 times in 12 appearances in PL2. His importance to the side was so evident that they went winless in the opening nine fixtures of the season while he was out injured.

    All of Joe Hugill’s 10 goals for Manchester United u21s in the 22/23 season. A real fox in the box, he scored from an average of about only 6 yards out! #MUFC #MUAcademy

    — Manchester United Academy (@RedYouthUnited) May 15, 2023

    It wasn’t until his return against Wolverhampton Wanderers in October that United picked up their first win in the league thanks to Hugill opening the scoring for United in an eventual 3-2 win.

    The 19 year old returned from his injury lay off in hot form, leading United to six wins in his first six appearances, scoring seven goals along the way.

    His impact was underlined by the fact that due to injury and a loan spell with Altrincham, he missed half of United’s matches and they failed to win a single league match all season without him, flirting dangerously with relegation.

    An instinctive finisher, Hugill’s wiliness in the box was irreplaceable throughout the season.

    A skill that has been often times also been missing from the Erik ten Hag’s senior side, Hugill possesses a classic striker’s ability to consistently be in the right place at the right time, with nine of his ten goals coming within 8 yards of the goal and the other coming from the penalty spot which could be considered long range for the striker.

    Despite not being the quickest or possessing the silkiest skills on the ball, Hugill’s smart hold up play and relentless pressing round out his dangerous offerings from the number nine position.

    The teenager’s similar stature and playstyle to on loan striker Wout Weghorst may lead to him catching the eye of Ten Hag, with Weghorst unlikely to be signed permanently after failing to replicate his previous goal scoring exploits in the Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey.

    Under the guidance of Ten Hag, there is every chance that Hugill can bring his finishing touch in the u21s to senior football.

    Omari Forson

    The next in line for the individual accolade is Omari Forson. The 18 year old was an ever present throughout the season for United’s u21s, making 29 appearances in all competitions.

    Second only to Hugill with nine goals for the season, providing three assists and winning a penalty, Forson was often relied upon to be a key danger man for United.

    Often playing from the right wing, Forson also enjoyed a spell in a more central role late in the season.

    With an exceptional tight control of the ball, the England u19 international’s wriggling in tight positions created a lot of openings throughout the season but like the team as a whole, it was his inconsistent end product which let him down.

    Perhaps lacking the high end speed of a true winger, he was often unable to take full advantage of the openings his dribbling created, especially during Hugill’s absences which left no focal figure in attack to find a pass to.

    But his adaptability as a wide attacking midfielder which allows him to drift all around the attack and pop up in dangerous positions is what ultimately allowed him to have a very impressive first season at u21s level.

    Kobbie Mainoo

    The third player on the list is Kobbie Mainoo. Despite being likely the most talented player and possessing the highest potential in the u21s set up, however, his u21s season was not as impactful as the aforementioned Hugill and Forson. This was largely due to not featuring as often and having to play in more advanced roles than he is typically used to.

    Making 19 appearances for the u21s, Mainoo provided two goals and two assists across the season.

    Initially looking to find his feet at the level, the 18 year old started the season keeping it simple and tidy for the most part.

    It wasn’t until October where he strung together a run of three man of the match performances in a row and showed his true ability.

    A particular dominating performance was against Carlisle United’s senior side in the EFL trophy where he physically imposed himself despite his tender age and dictated the control of the match at his own pace.

    Some further appearances in a more unfamiliar advanced role offered a good experience for the young midfielder but didn’t allow him to shine his brightest before rarely featuring in the new year due to promotion to the first team and eventually picking up an injury.

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